Brilliant Dad Feature Week 115 

This week our brilliant dad feature is Isaac he says he started his blog DaddyDays before he really knew what blogging was. His intention was for it to be a reference point for dads looking for support, information or ideas. But when he discovered there was already a network for dads offering most of this stuff, the blog veered towards being a record of his opinions and experiences as a dad. He is slowly evolving his youtube channel and looks at places to go either as a family or if you’re just having a daddy day. Thank you to Issac for taking part.

1. Have you always wanted to be a dad?

Apart from a short spell in my childhood when I  wanted to be a Mum (don’t ask), I have always wanted to be a Dad. A wise lady (as it turns out – although I didn’t think so at the time) once told me that if you wait until you can afford them, you’ll never have them. This was in response to me always saying I was waiting until I was a bit better set up in life before starting a family. But wait we did. This meant that my baby was born into a far more stable family home than I was however, I really waited too long as now he’s here, I wish I’d known him longer. I think this feeling will magnify as I get older.

2. How did you feel when your children were born?

Short answer, elated. So far I just have the one. My wife says the look on my face when I “met” him for the first time said it all. It confirmed to her that she had made the right choice of father. I remember simply saying “Hello. I’m your Daddy. I’ve been waiting my whole life to meet you.”

The full labour story (60 hours) deserves a post of it’s own so I’ll leave it at that for now.

3. What have been the most rewarding experiences been so far?

It’s going to be hard to pick out individual occasions. I guess what is most rewarding is the sheer amount of time I have been able to spend with him. My wife and I’s flexible work patterns allow us both to work full time and work around each other so that between us we do not need any additional childcare. Meaning that if I’m not at work I am either just with my son or it’s the three of us as a family. I have also been “blessed” with some pretty bad injuries at work meaning I have had even more time with him. At 8 months I ripped my knee tendons from my knee cap. When I got back on my feet, I had to do a lot of walking to rehabilitate. I would put the little man in his stroller and off we’d go. Several miles every day. We’d try to mix it up, I’d show him the birds and trees in the woods or we’d go to a variety of parks for a swing and a slide or we’d wander along the river. We’d be chattering away as we go. I’d be telling him about life etc. I suppose as he’s got older, I get a real buzz from the impression he makes on other people, particularly strangers. He is very thoughtful and kind and maybe even a bit too sociable. We were once in the supermarket queue when he struck up an enthusiastic conversation with the lady in front of us about a tube of pink smarties that she had bought for her grand children. The kind lady gave him a pound so that he could buy a tube himself. As I sat him back in the trolley and headed back to our car he spotted the lady getting into her car. He said there’s that lady. He took a flower out of the bunch we had bought for his mum and asked me to go other to her car. He gave it to her saying thank you for the smarties. That was a good one.

4. What are some of funniest moments to have happened to you as a dad?

Is it too childish to say his farts? He has always laughed at his own. This must be a natural phenomenon. Is it a boy thing? I don’t know. That said, they are becoming less funny now…

5. Have there been any situations with your children that you found difficult to cope with? 

It’s always the injuries. Crying for any reason is going to get me, but when he’s hurt, I can’t take that. It derails me for days as I analyse it over and over to try to work out how to prevent it in the future then beat myself up for not preventing it the time. Three really stick out. The first was a stroll in the woods. I can feel myself tensing up as I write this. He was not yet two. He’d been running around the woods collecting pine cones when finally he settled down to a slow wander. He saw something on the ground that interested him has he bent down to get a closer look he just lost his balance. It was such a gentle fall but he caught his head on a little flint. The ground was quite ashy. I picked him up and dusted him off and initially I was relieved he’d just got a bit dirty. Then I noticed drip drip drip onto my jeans. It seemed to be coming from his hair. I remember looking up and the woods suddenly expanded like special effects in a film. I had a cold flush and phoned an ambulance. I essentially just had to head towards the sound of the traffic. The bleeding would not stop and I made it to the road at about the same time as the paramedics. It was of course very minor, they just cleaned him up and sent us home, not even steri-strips. He has retained two hair line scars though and in two years we’ve never been back to that spot. It’s probably only a ten minute walk from our house.

Then there was the time that I was drying his hair after a shower. I still don’t know how it happened exactly. I was trying to make him laugh by doing it fast but he started crying. Somehow he’d got a friction burn on his neck. It was just a bit red but enough to hurt. What really stuck was what he said to his mum when she came to investigate. “Daddy hurt me.” I never ever want to hear that again. I am supposed to be his protector. I am really cautious now. I don’t want to wrap him in cotton wool but I equally don’t want to be the reason he needs it.

The last is the most traumatic. He choked. Proper choked. On bread stick too. It is the most scary moment of my life and knocked me for six, I have not been right since. At work I learned first aid. I remember the trainer saying, “this is the part all parents sit up and take notice of the most” Child’s first aid. We covered choking and I am so grateful because if we hadn’t I might not be able to call myself a dad today. I went into auto-pilot. I’m still not sure exactly what I did because I’ve blocked a lot of it out. Whatever it was it worked. I remember him looking really scared then he started to change colour and couldn’t make any noise. If I’d been in another room I’d not have heard him. I got it all out and after about 30 seconds he reached for another breadstick. I left him with his mum to talk it through with him and just went upstairs and sobbed. I urge every parent if nothing else, just watch Dr Ranj’s This morning interview (here) on YouTube on what to do if your child is choking. If possible take a course. It saved my son’s life.

6. What are your hopes and dreams for your children.

This is an easy one. Health and happiness. What could possibly be more important?

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