Half year review

6 months.

6 months in my career as a parent – For me, that’s equivalent to the following:

– I could have completed Skyrim 6 times, based on the month it took me to complete it the first time (Argonian Spell Sword, to those in the know)
– I could Write an average of 2160 blog posts, based on the two hours on average it takes me to do one
– I could Eat 180 dinners, based on one dinner a day.

All things I’d enjoy doing, but I doubt it would be as exciting or as rewarding as raising Ned to the ripe old age of half a year (Though eating 180 dinners may get added to my bucket list) As my first Father’s day has been and gone (Chocolate, ice lolly moulds and a tile with his handprint on, if you’re interested) I took a minute or three to reflect on what’s happened in these past 6 months, with the addition of my son as a permanent full time resident/noise in our family home. The best analogy I can think of is that my first six months have much been like a Mortal Kombat finishing move.

Like Mortal Kombat finishing moves, I have learnt that parenting isn’t something you can easilly do. To be able to do it takes patience, trawling the internet (then ditching a lot of stuff you learnt from the internet) and repitition until you get it right first time every time.

Even constant repitition doesn’t make you perfect – occasionally you’ll use the wrong button combination and get the wrong outcome entirely – you think you’re going to get that ultimate Scorpion flaming skull finisher but instead you get a leg sweep. It can be frustrating when you don’t get it right, and at times you feel like giving up, but every once in a while, the combo gets hit, and the sense of achivement and pride in the results remind you why you attempted the finisher in the first place.

My boss, who also handilly doubles as a friend, is becoming a parent for the second time, and we were talking recently about what things you would do/get next time around, based on what you learnt with the first child. My initial answer was ‘Whatever worked eventually, I’d now do it first time around’ but once I’d stopped being a douchebag, I decided on the following three things I’d get/use straight away:

– Infacol/Colief: Ned had colic, which was a nightmare. As soon as we started using Infacol, however, the symptoms lessened greatly. When Ned was a bit older, and he still got it, we upgraded to Colief, and had no trouble afterwards. Small, expensive, but literally magic liquid that lets parents sleep longer than an hour.

– White noise: Downloaded, we found this as a 9 minute preview on youtube, and had the ability to calm our screaming son down in a matter of seconds. We bought the download of the hour long version from Amazon, partly to get a longer version without repeating the youtube video, and partly to thank the genius that put the track together. Has the nasty side effect of making me drowsy.

– Bumbo: regardless of any press the bumbo got in the past, this seat has enabled me to go to the toilet when it’s just me and him in the house (Taking it to the bathroom, popping him in it while I do my thing). It’s enabled me and Claire to have a meal together when he was too small for his highchair, and I love my meals.

Of course, these things worked for Ned – someone with a different, less mental child might have different results.

In conclusion, I think I’ve done alright so far as a parent. I’ve made mistakes, but I guess that’s what has to happen to learn from them.

Love ya kiddo, cheers for the best father’s day I’ve ever had. Can you stop waking up at 5 please.

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