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The 8 Best Things About Being A Dad

Clearing Mega Bloks off the floor four times a day can be tough, but Pat Fitzpatrick reckons that nothing beats fatherhood. Here are his 8 favourite things about being a Dad.

1. Release The Eejit

Men are eejits. We have to hide this in adult life or else no one would sleep with us or give us a mortgage. But inside every one of us, there’s a 10-year-old boy giggling at a joke he heard about a Chinese dentist. And then your first child comes along. Not only are you allowed to release your inner eejit, it’s actually your job as chief entertainer to act the eejit. All of a sudden, it’s ok to run around in public singing “The first mate’s name was Carter, by Christ he was a farter.” As long as you remember to bring the kids out with you. Otherwise, it’s a really bad look.

2. You’re Hilarious

Kids will laugh at anything. And given that you are Chief Eejit, they will spend most of their time laughing at you. It’s good to know you still have it on the sense of humour front. Don’t get carried away and tell your partner you are thinking of putting that on your Tinder Profile. That’s not actually funny to someone who hasn’t slept in a fortnight. You’ll end up trying to make your kids laugh every second weekend at a McDonalds half way between their home and your new gammy bedsit.

3. Sorry Old Man

It’s the middle of the night. Your three-year-old wakes for the fifth time because her toy Nemo has gone missing in the bed. (It’s her version of Finding Nemo. Never show them a movie.) And then it occurs to you. Your Dad went through all this with you and never said a word. You think about calling him up, to say sorry for all the mockery and that you love him. You decide against it because it’s 4 am, he’ll only think you ‘opened the second bottle of wine’ and you are supposed to be minding kids now. From then on, you see him in a new light. Not that you’ll ever tell him. Sure it would only go to his head.

4. Talking Points

There is a notion out there that all men like talking about sports. We don’t. It’s just that we have nothing else in common. And unlike women, we’re not comfortable asking a bloke on the bus where he got his shoes. And then kids come along. All of a sudden, you’re pushing a conversation point along in a buggy. Who wants to talk about Jose Mourinho to a strange man when you can swap stories about head lice? You’ll find you also have something to say to strange women other than ‘I think your dress would look better on my bedroom floor.’ (Stay classy.)

5. Stretches

All those guys out doing Tough Mudder and Extreme Marathons to try and hide the fact they’re 45? Total waste of money. There is no better full body workout on the market right now than looking after a child up to the age of six. Your glutes will thank you for clearing up two bags of Mega Bloks, four times a day. Fancy taking up white-collar boxing? No need, just have a little boy and he’ll beat the living crap out of you for free. As for walking up and down the stairs 73 times a day because you keep forgetting stuff? Congratulations. That’s actually quite a low number for someone trying to survive on eight minutes of sleep.

6. Career

People think that having a child can put a halt on your career. That’s wrong for two reasons. The first one is the one you share with everyone. “I have to do well at work, now that I have kids.” Go on, you big hairy caveman, providing for your family. The second reason? “I need to earn more than my partner or else the childcare costs will mean it makes more sense for me to mind the kids. There is no way I’m getting stuck at home with those crazies, clearing up Mega Bloks every hour and trying not to watch Judge Judy.” You keep this to yourself because you’re a modern man and all that. But it’s kinda true nonetheless.

7. New Skills

Think of all the new skills you pick up with kids in the house. Eating a Yorkie in one go in case one of the crazies walks into the room is impressive enough. But actually talking to them with the Yorkie in your mouth when they burst into the room - that should have its own category in Britain’s Got Talent. As for using the world’s smallest screwdriver to open the battery compartment of a toy while a child screams “it stopped working” into your ear, you’ll pick that up in no time. Because the alternative isn’t worth it.

8. The Leaves

But really, the best thing about being a Dad is that you start to notice the leaves again. Or at least you notice your little girl walking down the footpath, kicking her way through the autumn leaves, and remember you used to do that too, a million years ago, before you started eating two Yorkies a day in an attempt to stay awake. The idea is that you are supposed to lead your kids through life. The reality is that your kids are out in front, showing you the magic in all the simple things that got lost over the years. And then their toy breaks and it’s your job to fix it. But it’s well worth it.

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About the Author

Pat Fitzpatrick lives in Cork city with his wife and two small kids. He gave up a decent job in I.T. in 2008 to head for the lucrative world of writing. So don't hire him as a life coach, investment advisor or anything to do with your career. His Sunday Independent newspaper columns have been entertaining Irish people through some tough times. Pat is a regular on the on the RTE Today show with Maura Derrane and Daithí O’Sé and pops up frequently on radio shows such as the Right Hook. All of this is a bit too much like hard work, so he has started writing novels which will hopefully fund an early retirement to a hammock in the back garden. His first novel, Keep Away from those Ferraris, is available online and in shops outlined here http://www.patfitzpatrick.ie/novels/. Pat’s kids are both under two, so if you don’t mind, he is now going for a quick lie down.

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Amanda Newsom
cool
18/09/2017 17:12:29

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