Well I have just experienced my first ever Father’s Day, and jolly good it was too. In time honoured tradition I wore a t-shirt with “I’m the Daddy” writ large upon it, whilst Marty wore a top with “My Daddy rocks” scrawled across it for the world to read. Armoured with such announcements we spent the day forlornly looking for mushrooms and then far more successfully swimming in the local baths.
This was the first time I’d ever been to the local pool but I suspect it will now become a regular Sunday afternoon fixture as Marty seemed to really enjoy himself, despite the fact that he was wearing a bright blue suit stuffed full of polystyrene that made him look like a fishing float with red hair. I’m not too sure of this ‘float suit’ from a safety point of view as I got the impression it could just as easily float him upside down as the right way up but we survived intact regardless.
So what else has been happening? Well Marty has pretty muched doubled in size over the last 4 months and, judging by the amount of drool he secretes every minute of the day, most of this gain has been taken up by enormous great saliva glands that must now occupy at least 40% of his total body weight. If you pick him up for more than 10 minutes you have to wring out your shirt afterwards and we can’t go anywhere without a collection of absorbent cloths to soak up the trails of slobber that he leaves behind him. It’s like living with a bloody great snail.
The other bizarre aspect of babies is the effect altitude has on them; they cry, you pick them up and they stop. You sit down with them and they start crying again! Nothing but nothing has changed other than their height above the ground.
Spot the difference
With this in mind my first theory was that babies have an inbuilt altitude sensor that stops them crying whenever they exceed an altitude of 5ft. Then I remembered a long haul flight where the kid in the seat behind me cried for a solid eight hours despite the plane maintaining a steady 35,000 ft. Then I remembered that that was a pressurised cabin and that he’d have probably stopped crying if I’d just opened a window... and there was a point in the flight where I was sorely tempted to do just that.
I must admit that when people said that having a baby would change my life I never realised they were referring to car boot sales.
Before Marty’s arrival I’d never been a fan of ‘car booting’. Wandering a field filled with al fresco tat struck me as an utter waste of time, the middle class equivalent of scouring the municipal tip; same garbage, higher prices.
However, I have now come to realise that, whilst there are still far too many people trying to off load the sort of stuff that any right thinking person would have consigned to the bin a long time ago, there is also a hard core of parents running what amounts to a ‘swap shop’. It’s brilliant!
It’s not that I don’t like buying new stuff but the fact is that they grow out of things so fast you’ve barely had time to get your new purchase out of the box before it’s redundant.
For example, we want something to keep Marty upright. He’s started sitting up now but he’s yet to develop anything remotely like a sense of balance, so he needs some sort of support. Well they do a rubber ring affair for just this eventuality and how much does it cost in the shops? £15! For a rubber ring! A rubber ring he’ll be able to fit in for about 3 weeks! So we’re off to the car boot sale to see if we can pick one up for a fiver.
It’s the same with shoes. A baby shoe can set you back a small fortune so we’re buying second hand. After all three month old babies are not renowned for their long distance treks so I think it’s safe to say that the shoes will be in decent shape.
Actually, when I think about it, why are we buying him shoes in the first place? Surely this is like buying your goldfish a bike? We might as well go the whole hog and buy him a set of hiking boots and a rucksack for all the good it will do him.
Aside from car boot sales what else has been happening? Well Marty can now giggle! He’s been able to ‘Gii’ and ‘Ooo’ and ‘Aah’ for a while now but he couldn’t manage the true, full on, ‘giggle’. Well now he can and I must say, it’s been worth the wait.