Then: 1

There are not many situations that compare with getting told you’re going to be a Dad.  I found the feeling quite similar to when one is about to get one’s head kicked in.  Every man at some point or another will have experienced this.  Perhaps on a Friday night after shouting the wrong thing to the wrong bloke, watching him run towards you baring his teeth and snarling.  That feeling, where you cannot decide whether to advance forward like a man, or high tail it and run, is the same feeling you get when informed of impending fatherhood.  I can hear the honourable men among you swearing blind that you never had any other feeling but joy and elation.  I have news for you, you’re lying.  And rightly so, admit to your partner that you have feelings of dread and she is going to beat you unrecognisable, so my advice to you is of course lie, oh and don’t run.

You will probably find that you will be informed in one of two ways.  The first is this, ‘You’re going to be a daddy’ and the second is this ‘I am pregnant’.  Now this next bit is very important, you may think the second way is a somewhat ambiguous statement, believe me, it is not.  Both these two methods of delivery mean the same thing.  Despite what you may have seen in the latest episode of EastEnders, under NO CIRCUMSTANCES are you to utter any variation of the following phrases:
“who’s is it?”
“Is it mine?”
“How did this happen?”
The mere fact that she is telling you in this manner means it is your baby, and unless this lady really does take promiscuity to new levels (in which case it is your own bloody fault), it is much more advantageous for you to keep quiet. The alternative is, learn how to slip a punch, fast.  Luckily for me, I was alone when I found out I was going to be a dad.  The problem was, I genuinely could not work out whether this news was good or bad.  The cons of the situation were obvious enough, I am not in a relationship with the mother, not married, not financially stable and in still in the first stages of my military training.  The concept of me imparting wisdom and care on to anything was pretty laughable, nevertheless, there was a definite feeling of excitement.  Even though the odds were seriously in favour of complete failure, I still found myself sitting in my car, radio off, in complete silence grinning to myself like a total wally.  Anyone walking past must have thought I was either very odd, or assumed there was a girl down in the foot well. 

    I wanted to tell people, in fact I made the mistake of telling more people than I should have.  Leaving my parents till a bit later, I told my brother, (who congratulated me) my sister, (who called me an idiot) and a girl I was seeing (who hung up).  Now that I have a bit more knowledge under my belt I would advise anyone against informing the world that they’re going to have a baby until after the 12-week scan.  Anything before this date is risky because there is a much higher chance of miscarriage in the first 12 weeks.  The last thing you want to do is plaster it all over Facebook (incidentally something that most people find incessantly irritating) only to have to publically share your grief if something goes wrong. 

I’ll leave it there for now, I don’t want to prattle on for too long, nor will I be committing to adding a new post to this blog every day. The next bit will be in the next ‘then’ post. And its all about the wonders of pregnancy. For a man, its a minefield.

Now: 1

Another one of my New Years resolutions is to read more books. I have a habit of embarking on this particular quest. My house is littered with books that I’ve started and not finished. I tend to get a few chapters in, put it down for five mins, go back to it 6 months later and have no idea whats going on. It then seems too much effort to re-read what I have already read and alas, said book finds itself on the shelf with nothing but a bookmark lodged inside. So along with my zeal to write, I attach an ‘add-on’ as it were.

The first of hopefully many, is a novel written by Gail Honeyman titled ‘Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine’. A few chapters in and I must admit it’s not my usual go to. I generally gravitate towards a Dan Brown thriller, or something involving a strong male lead like Jack Reacher. This way I can romanticise the life of an ex covert ops assassin and spend the duration of the read imagining myself cruising around in a fast car, dodging bullets and cheating death. In reality it’s a transit van with a bright pink car seat in the front, I would say less cruising, more trudging and the only thing I’m currently trying to dodge is the email from my daughters school requesting a volunteer to be the next parent ‘rep’.

I digress, the works of Miss Honeyman were recommended to me by my mother. Which itself is enough reason for me not to read it. My mum only recommends books to me if it contains some form of hint attached to its contents. ‘Parenting, the pits and falls’ etc. Nevertheless, I will see this one through on principal, and it has highlighted something for me that has made me question all manner of things. Upon reading the first couple pages, the lead character is introduced as a 30 year old, working a office job she hates blah blah blah. When I thought of the character in my head, I visualised a middle-aged woman, dressed like Mother Hubbard drinking earl grey from a china cup and saucer, surrounded by cats and failed attempts at knitted scarves. The problem is, at this point, all I read was her age. For some reason my psyche has associated the age of 30 as old and past it! It wasn’t till I actually sat back and realised that in two weeks time I’ll be 30 myself, that I started to re-evaluate this very odd stereotype I have built in my head.

30 isn’t that old is it? I can hear all the 35+ year olds saying to themselves ’30? I’d kill to be 30 again’. It did make me question whether I had done enough ‘stuff’ to be called 30. So I’ve got a couple of kids sure, but nowadays that doesn’t require you to be, well, any age at all! I have a business, but having a business doesn’t make one a success. I could register a new business tomorrow named ‘Parachutes with holes in Ltd’. I would be a Managing Director but still be skint and driving the same shitty transit!

The point, I suppose, is that Gail Honeyman, has ruined my day completely. And I am now going to finish her book in the hope that the main character finds the happiness she seems to be searching for, thus proving that being 30 isn’t all that bad!

Today has been the last day of freedom over the Christmas period, my daughter Darcy has arrived home after spending a few days with her mother. She crossed the threshold about an hour ago, and so far we’ve had a row over the benefits of eating ones crusts, I’ve been called into the bathroom to check the quality of her toilet hygiene (questionable at best) and now, utter meltdown. Not because its time for bed, but because I wont allow her to have an entire wooden dolls house in the bed with her.


First Attempt

My New Years resolution is to say less and write more. A few years ago I started to write a blog, I couldn’t really tell you whether it was good or bad – the fact I didn’t write more than a few posts says it all I suppose.

So here I go again, fighting against the tyranny of the blank page. The problem is there are literally millions of blogs out there. Which makes the prospect of starting one all the more daunting. Clearly people have things to talk about. A whole plethora of subjects and topics available to write about and the second I open my laptop it is all I can do to not write something nonsensical.

‘Play to your strengths’ ‘Write about what you know’. This is the advice you will receive should you decide to google ‘how to write a blog’. The problem with this advice is, unless you have a really unusual life, accompanied by pictures of you frequenting all the wonderful places in the world, ‘what you know’ could be completely boring, thus rendering your blog unsuccessful from the get go. I personally have never seen the appeal of taking pictures of ones dinner, listing the ingredients and subsequently congratulating oneself on said dinner being meat-free, gluten-free, wheat-free, taste-free, colour-free, basically, just a plate.

Last time, I wrote about the seemingly unusual situation I lived in. A single father, in the Army attempting to raise a daughter. This was three years ago, and I have now left the Army, started my own business and am of course, still attempting to raise my daughter. As it turns out, not a huge amount of dads are blogging their experiences. I don’t blame them. Between school runs, feeding, washing, cleaning, wading through piles and piles of pink plastic crap and trying to remember the names of all the LOL dolls, who has time to write their torment down?!

I will give it a go.