Dad Dancing Vol.1

So, you all knew the last post title was based on Jaws didn’t you…

…didn’t you?

If you didn’t, I wouldn’t lose any sleep over it!

Anyway, onto post #5. I desperately wanted to call this ‘Now That’s What I Call Dad Dancing Vol. 1’ but it just didn’t seem catchy enough!

Those that know me know I’m partial to a boogie. Nobody bothered mentioning that boogieing with your baby is so much fun (even if it appears to be a one-sided affair most of the time!). The best bit of all is that Beatrice has no idea how bad I am!

This summer, Radio 1 have put together some cracking mixtapes that have got me through many a fraught nappy change over the last 5 weeks. This morning, which was in fact a very calm event, saw the most reaction out of little Beatrice to date. And I’m not surprised, this was practically her whole musical education in one half hour burst (note- I feel obliged to point out here the change didn’t take 30 minutes, but once we’d started there was no stopping us…we were on the move…ahem). I was particularly pleased with some of her favourites, and the mix has been downloaded for future dad dances. Sadly, they are only available for a month after downloading, so get yours here.

It kicks off with the Vengaboys classic We Like to Party which was met with a few approving wriggles and arm shakes.

Pitbull next. Not a fan. Phew.

Moves like Jagger went down well, she seemed impressed with my ‘Moves like Daddy’ cover version anyway!

A quick cheesey burst of Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta followed by Backstreet Boys I Want It That Way(both with pitch perfect accompanying vocals, naturally). Seemed engrossed enough by the singing…

Straight into Daft Punk and Pharrell! Off the changemat for this one for some daddy/daughter jigs around the nursery! Bit of a modern day classic for her to get her gums in to.

Back to the mat for some Bon Jovi ( I told you this covered most of her musical education!) Livin’ On a Prayer. Not one of Daddy’s favourites, but persisted with getting the lyrics wrong anyway and Bea seemed to rate it!

From there into Dolly Parton’s 9 to 5. I’m sure the message about not working for the man and living your own life got through to her. I’m almost positive that’s what those gurgles meant.

Clean Band went down a storm with Rather Be. This is excellent news. This track is one of our favourites, having listened to it over and over on our travels round New Zealand. Legs and arms flailing all over the shop (and Beatrice did some moves of her own of course!).

Bohemian Rhapsody next. Bloody BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY! Superb! She wasn’t too sure about the thunderbolts and lightning but seemed to nod approvingly at the guitar solos (one happy grandad right there!).

And just when you couldn’t cram any more classics into thirty minutes, S Club’s Reach only bloomin well came on…and she grinned! Lots of littles coos, gurgles and smiles throughout. Loved every second. More than happy to play that one over and over again!

Bit tired after that, so LMFAO’s Party Rock Anthem didn’t get a look in really.

All in all, even if you hate all of those songs, you seriously have to try out all sorts of music with your baby. Pick them up, move around with them, move their arms and legs about, loads of eye contact and terrible singing- they’ll love  you anyway. The moment she started grinning away to S Club made my day! Sadly, no photos or videos exist of the events today. Perhaps they will in a future volume of  Dad Dancing…

…everyday I’m shufflin’ (with Beatrice).

 

 

“We’re going to need a bigger bin…”

Those fans of famous film lines will get this post’s title: my wife did not. As a Film Studies graduate, I’ve had to learn since that not everyone knows lines from a silly number of films (I wish this was what my degree involved!), but equally to take any opportunity to shove one in where possible!

I’m going to work on the assumption that you, my esteemed readership, are film fans and therefore know which film the title refers to. If you don’t, I’ll let you know next time.

One of the many things that people don’t tell you about newborns – they generate a LOT of rubbish! I am almost certain we’ve gone quite a while on one bin bag (yay for recycling and food bins!) in the past. This last month, we’ve had some awkward timings with bin collections, leading to Beatrice’s first trip to the local tip (she loved it, thanks for asking). 7 bags successfully removed from our garage, then off for tea and cake (more on that to come, it’s a major perk!).Be prepared for this, our top tip is to get the air out of the nappy bag before putting it in the bin. This may or may not improve the aerodynamics on your Nappylmpics throws, so give it a go!

The bins were collected this Monday, so it remains to be seen if we need to return to the fascinating place that is our local tip – the scale of stuff always surprises me, as does the fading collection of broken Fisher Price merchandise. I’m sure I’ll be taking our own FP collection to the big playpen in the sky at some point. It doesn’t seem like any sentiment needs to be attached to them though(going by the faces of the people chucking them away), phew! I’ll let you know in a fortnight if things improve.

So far, the explosive poo count has significantly reduced, Beatrice is suddenly a month old and so much has happened already! I cannot wait to see what month two brings…I’ve also got a few more post ideas ready to go, so please subscribe to get them all!

The Nappylmpics 2016

The week delay between posts certainly wasn’t planned, so sorry if you’ve been on tenterhooks! Apparently you can subscribe to the blog so that I don’t have to nag you each time it’s published (however rare that may be!).

This post is all about celebrating the fact that having a baby during a major sporting event such as the Olympics is a seriously good thing. In the fortnight or so before the Rio games started, I was left with some seriously poor daytime TV. I will forever take pity on those parents weeping over another tedious episode of Come Dinw With Me or if you’re really in the doldrums, Pointless. If you’re stuck in that boat, you’ll be finding yourself either waking your baby up from a deep sleep, convincing yourself that their nappy is definitely in need of a change (in a different room away from the telly) or that perhaps another load of washing really does need doing. I mean, chances are, if things are like they are here, your washing machine needs just as much a rest as you do!

During our many multiple visits to the ‘changing suite’ in the last month, it really hasn’t been difficult for my mind to drift and combine my current interests into the Nappylmpics. You are all more than welcome to try and beat or even create any new world records, but here are my initial thoughts, all starting with…

The Nappy Bag Toss

We’ve all done it (I’m assuming we’ve all done it…). Bag tied, baby safely secure in one arm, and a casual sling of the bag into an open bin across the room. If all goes well, there is nothing more satisfying. It’s like a huge upgrade on chucking that bit of scrunched up paper in the bin. Saying that, I’ve yet to sling a nappy bag over my shoulder taking a blind shot at the bin. Not quite brave enough, especially with some of the heavier ones. I’m a bit worried I may start leaving bins in harder to reach places for the added challenge.

Current Nappylmpics record: 2.3m (ish)

One-handed Nappy Bag Tying

An Olympic athlete may need to demonstrate extreme dexterity and concentration. The Nappylmpics is no different. This came about after regularly forgetting to tie the bag after a change. Certainly not one for a novice (I consider myself now to be an amateur, got a way to go before I can call myself a pro), and to date has only been achieved once. Beatrice was particularly docile too. I’m sure for an added challenge, flailing and wailing are involved.

Current Nappylmpics record: 1m 4 secs

Nappy Relay

Our final event for this post is a record I’m not sure I’m proud of, but I’d be impressed (and sympathetic) if you’ve beaten it. The Nappy Relay is that moment when you switch old for new, deftly removing the dirty, damp offending article and sliding in the clean fresh one which will no doubt bring instant calm to your baby…ahem. All of course, in the hope that your cat-like reflexes aren’t called upon to raise the nappy shield in self-defence. Occasionally, this relay will continue for a series of nappies as your little one struggles to work out that bowel movements don’t really come in bunches. The relay starts from the first nappy removed to the last one before you leave the change station. My current record is 7 nappies (and 2 outfits) in a 40 minute, tearful (for both of us) exchange. I thought I’d made it out on 6, when as I picked Beatrice up, all snug and changed, she pulled a face, and a really disheartening bottom rumble followed.

Note- there is a 1 minute grace period from sealing a nappy (e.g. if baby is all done, you pick them up and within a minute they decide enough wasn’t enough, you can count it in your relay).

Current Nappylmpics record: 7 nappies, 2 outfits, countless nappy bags and wpes, 40 minutes

Those are my first events, please comment, share and let’s see if those efforts can be topped! Even something as tedious as a nappy change (still less tedious than Pointless) can be made more exciting with a little element of competition.

 

 

 

 

 

Cat-like reflexes…(aka Parenting superpowers)

I made it to a second post! More importantly, we’ve made it unscathed through the first three weeks,. In fact, three weeks ago at the time of writing, we were making our trip home from the hospital. Thinking of it like that puts all of the visits, gifts and mini achievements (more on those in a later post) into pretty sharp perspective. That’s a lot of stuff in a short space of time!

As I mentioned in my first post, this is an attempt to look at the more positive side of being a first-time parent. With that in mind, I thought I’d take a quick look at one of the many, many positives that has come with her arrival – the development of skills I certainly didn’t have three weeks ago!

Being the comic book fan that I am, it wasn’t a huge jump to think of these as new powers. Not quite the same as being bitten by the proverbial radioactive insect, but new and improved neverthless. It’s also worth noting that not all of these powers are either a) useful or b) 100% effective!

Parenting Superpower 1 – improved hearing skills (ish)

The first thing I noticed was that I have become more and more attuned to listening out for cries. There is nothing like your baby crying to tug at the heart strings. However, for reasons unknown, I regularly find myself running upstairs declaring “Is she okay? I just heard her cry,” much to my wife’s bemusement. This has happened a lot. I’m hoping it’s a trial phase and will actually be more effective than our baby monitor in future.

Parenting Superpower 2 – increased reflexes

As the title points out, this has been a notable change since turning 32 (which coincidentally is the same day our adorable girl was born – best present ever!). I consider myself to have pretty decent reflexes (I have been known to pull off some ridiculous saves on the 5-a-side pitch, but equally let in some howlers). Since Beatrice was born, I have been catching dropped objects alarmingly quickly (ranging from recently sterilised bottles to a mug out of the cupboard), but I have also had to evade projectile faeces repeatedly!

So much so that again, I have developed a sixth sense for it. In fact, today, I deftly leapt to one side to avoid the carnage in Mothercare’s baby changing room this afternoon (actually impressing my wife!)! Her (Beatrice’s of course!)party trick seems to be to shoot streams of mustardy brown at great speed over longer distances than you would imagine possible. It is particularly fun to dodge whilst maintaing the hold on her legs! I’m not quite at Spiderman levels of agility as yet, but fingers crossed I’m going to be unstoppable in goal next season.

Of course, it doesn’t always work…I like to think of this as Beatrice’s damning statement about England’s performance against Pakistan on Wednesday (she’s already a keen Test Match Special listener…). It takes the pain away from yet another washing machine cycle.

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I’m sure more powers will be revealed in due course. I shall be writing up my version of Rio 2016- the Nappylmpics in my next post in celebration of the start of the Olympics, be sure to have a look to see if you can break any of my world records!

 

 

 

“You’ve Got All This To Come…”

Just under three weeks ago, my wife and I became parents for the first time. The last twenty days have been a learning curve and an absolute pleasure getting to know little Beatrice!

The idea for starting this blog came about from the classic line in the title, passed down from veteran parent to expecting parent at every possible opportunity. Not only did I quickly tire of hearing it, I noticed that not once was anything positive coming my way apparently!

So, almost as an act of stubborness rather than a dedicated effort to chart our experiences, I was determined to look for all of the positive sides of parenting! I’m still not entirely sure which direction this blog will take, and will certainly record some of the less pleasant but equally entertaining side of my new role as a dad. However, the main intention is to prove that those with ‘all this to come’ have a world of awesomeness ahead of them.

Thanks for dropping in for this first post, and keep an eye out for the future adventures of a new dad and his family! Please feel free to comment your experiences of when someone has uttered those well-intentioned but often patronising words!

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