Since becoming a father my Friday nights consist of an argument about eating supper before ice-cream, watching My Little Pony and then the bathroom battle – where my daughter refuses to get into the bath and then, once bathed, refuses to get out. Gone are the days (or nights) where my buddies and I used to drink a bottle of brandy and a case of beers before heading out to the club (Gandalf’s) at 10 or 11 pm. There were no rules or time limits or things that had to be done, it was just me, all the time. Sometimes I look back and think: “Wouldn’t it be cool to still be able to do that…” And then I realize that no… no it wouldn’t.
Raising a little girl has been the most exhausting, difficult and monumental task I have ever taken on, and I’ve rebuilt a Honda CD200 engine from scratch using three other donor motors. It has, however, also been the most awesome, humbling and rewarding experience ever! I’m not going to tell you all the sappy moments I’ve had or write about how magical it is to be Mikayla’s father, this not that kind of post. I am going to tell you my take on how life has changed and how I feel about that.
The reason I say it wouldn’t be cool to go out and party and get all kinds of fucked up is because I’ve grown up, a lot. I’m not saying that people who enjoy going out are childish or immature, I’m saying that, for me, personally, I have grown up radically. I really was the last person I ever expected to get married and have children. I was a punk, skateboarder, drunken dancing idiot. I still skate, but I don’t dance (except at weddings after Jager shots) and I’m actually quite suburban now. Anyway, let’s do this list thing of things which have changed or something.
- Clubs are now Chernobyl to me. I can’t go to a club anymore! The music is too loud, the barmen are dicks and the people are all raging lunatics dancing to “music” which sounds like a dot matrix printer and a fax machine are having an argument with Darth Vader. After my daughter was born, I tried to hang on to that social side of my life for a few months but I couldn’t, my time on the dance floor was over.
- Empty pubs are my escape. There really is nothing better than an empty pub. (Thanks Dylan Moran) I remember leaving places because there were only 15 people in the bar, now I leave if there are more than 5.
- Wet wipes are essential! I don’t know how I made it through my life without wet wipes. They clean anything! Poo, chocolate, milk, porridge, anything. Gone! I’ve even given myself a mini bath or two with a couple wet wipes in the car after a skate or long shopping queue. They really are the shit.
- I used to think grabbing some Rennies was preparation. Now I’m ready for any issue anywhere we go. Spare clothes, first aid kit, toys, drinks, food, you name it. If there was an apocalypse, I’d be ready and we’d have snacks.
- Appreciating the small things. I remember always looking for the next thing to do or the next party, pretty much just generally never being in the moment. Now I enjoy my beers, I watch the clouds, I pay attention to what people are saying. When I have the time, of course.
- I’m not gonna drag this out so, what’s the biggest change in me since becoming a father? Well, it has to be me. All of me has changed, my likes and dislikes, my relationship with myself, my habits, I’m organized. But above all, I’m somebody’s dad, and that’s enough for me.