The news is alive with excitement after the arrival of the new heir to the throne. At Hapless Dad we know that some of the Royals are our most avid fans. Therefore it seems sensible to pass on some vital advice to the new dad.
Lets be honest you can find all the information you want on non essential items such as prams, nappies and bottle warming thingies. But what are the real essentials that any dad will need to get over the early stages of fatherhood? We review the best.
This seems like an odd suggestion I know. However, generations of Dads have woken up dazed on the floor of Edershaws with a lump on their head the size of Bournemouth after finding out the cost of a cot. Wear protective headgear at all times, and specifically during outings to Mothercare. The first time you are asked to hand over your credit card to buy shoes............ FOR A BABY, this will be worth its weight in gold.
You may think that the carefree, and rather athletic, sex life you enjoyed before the kids will continue. Think again. Sex after children is as rare as hen's teeth, and just as painful. There are a number of reasons for this. Firstly you will both have had less sleep than an orange jump suited guest at Guantanamo Bay. Therefore a 30 second bunk up will seem like crossing the Sahara on a space hopper. Secondly, if you were to approach your wife's, previously rather dishy, nether regions you will feel like the first on the scene at a terrorist attack. Any number of lollipop stick sized splints will not help you to over come this. Remember, child birth is essentially like passing a bowling ball through your nostril. Damage can be significant. The extensive use of pornography will ensure you don't upset your wife or start being creepy with teenage girls who work in shops at the weekend.
A large bottle of Glenfiddich
You may feel too tired to drink but trust me, this is a mistake. Drinking continuously will help you to see the funny side of the mad world in which you have been suddenly deposited. It will also help you to fall into a drunken snooze at will. Babies keep odd hours so you need to grab the opportunity for some kip when you can. Any beverage will do of course. I have suggested whiskey because of its similarity to tea without milk. This enables you to become a functioning alcoholic without anybody noticing.
Not just any pet. It has to be something your wife will hate like a rat or an Iguana. The key point here is pecking order. You may have been best friends before the birth. I can assure you that when that little bundle of joy arrives you will slip further down the pecking order than Garry Glitter on the bookings list for Children in Need night. Having a pet your wife hates will keep you from the bottom of the table thus preventing relegation.
An industrial strength shredder
This is specifically for Dads with their first child. Everyone knows that subsequent babies can take up smoking without you noticing. However, when you have your first, every single aspect of the rearing of that child is analysed and stressed about. As a result, bookshops are jam packed with publications designed to tell you how to raise your child. Your wife will buy hundreds of them. These books are the devil's work. As adults we assume that everyone is different and yet all babies are expected to be the same. If you are not careful some flip flop wearing mentalist will have you feeding your baby blended sirloin steak and guava halves whilst trying to teach it Sudoku. And don't even get me started on baby signing. Babies have been communicating with their parents quite perfectly for thousands of years before someone invented this idea. I once knew a child who was so dependent on baby signing that he was still making the sign for milk well into school age. Shred, shred and shred again!! Your wife will wonder where the books have gone but you can blame her baby brain. You will also have tonnes of top quality bedding for Iggy the Iguana.
A second world war gas mask
You may think you can cope with bodily secretions. It is likely that, once you have reached a certain age, you have probably had to deal with your own sick and have probably pooed yourself. Most likely at the same time. This will not prepare you for the smell of digested baby formula and Annabel Carmel recipes. A gas mask will help to ensure that the contents of your stomach stays where it is supposed to be.
This is only to be used when you are on your own with the baby. Your wife and her friends will think that every single movement of the baby is an event. They will stare and ooh and ah and giggle and make funny noises for hours on end. You are a man! Therefore babies are boring as shit! Your son will get interesting when he can play rugby to a good standard. Your daughter will get interesting when she brings her hot college friends to stay over the holidays "oops sorry lovely I didn't realise you were changing!" Up until that point you need to be entertained whilst looking after your baby in a range of places where a Sopranos box set is not an option.
A set of golf clubs
Everyone will tell you that you need time to yourself when a new baby is born. Up until now you have had a quick game of squash and rushed home to your lovely wife. Now is the time to take up golf. God knows it's barely a sport but the idea of spending 8 hours standing in a country park on your own will start to look pretty attractive by about week 2.
A large man bag
As a new father you will continually question the ten tonnes of crap you have to carry around every time you go out as a family. When you are out on your own you can feed your children in pubs and used beer mates as nappies but when your wife is there you will have to carry 'the bag'. It will be a flowery bag, possibly with a cuddly bear on. However your wife will make you carry it. Suggesting it is left at home will not work. The only solution is to buy your own.
Hopefully these products will help you get through the first few months of parenthood. I wish you the best of luck.
Lt Col Hapless Dad CBE