23 December 2012, by Kelvin Ang
I turn 36 this year. Yup, 3 full cycles of the Chinese Zodiac Calendar.
But 36 years of life couldn’t have prepared me what Fatherhood had taught me in the past 7+ years. And these are just some of the things I have learned along my amazing parenthood journey.
1. Babies are fitted with a sixth sense mechanism, so that they can cry precisely at the right moment when I sit down to eat or check my emails.
2. Crying can be the official soundtrack of my life.
3. Get sleep whenever I can, or if I can.
4. Babies are cranky if they don’t have regular bowel movements. Oh wait, me too actually.
5. And if they do poop, that sound can be the sweetest sound in the world.
6. I am able to change poop-stained diapers anywhere, even at a staircase landing.
7. But then, it usually takes 3 or 4 cycles of hard scrubbings to get that smell of shit out of my fingers.
8. Use less force when tugging at the secure tapes of a new diaper. Or risk seeing money flushed down the drain.
9. Carrying a baby is a stupendous way to start a conversation with strangers.
10. Photos and videos of my children take up more than 80% of hard disk space on my computer. Shopping for Terabytes of storage couldn’t get more fun than this.
11. Don’t go crazy buying tons and tons of cutesy kids clothing. A BNIB Transformers toy will make a far better investment. Or extra RAM.
12. When all else fails, the iPhone or iPad will save the day. Or cough medicine.
13. I can accomplish unimaginable things with only one hand — whatsapp-ing, cooking, dish washing, tweeting, buttoning a shirt.
14. It always ends up costing more than I think, so just get used to it.
15. There are some activities that only work best when done with Dad. Like learning to ride a bicycle or going just plain silly wrestling matches.
16. Involvement. Just because I don’t have boobies doesn’t mean I need not give a hand to calm the kids down.
17. Patience. My wife knows – I’m an impatient bugger. But I would like to think that my patience threshold has grown with each passing year of Fatherhood.
18. Sacrifice. Be it time, money, work or sleep, sacrifice is something that comes with Parenthood. But it will all be worth it when I get the payoffs.
19. Our children’s views of the world and its people are being shaped by us constantly.
20. Don’t lock yourself in the house. There’s a reason why the term madhouse was coined. Get out of the house, explore new places and let the kids create havoc OUTSIDE.
21. Travelling overseas together as a family can be tiring. But just as FUN. Which leads me to the next point.
22. Laundry is only created, never destroyed.
23. However, don’t neglect the spouse. Alone time with each other is equally important.
24. No one child is the same.
25. Children are like Spongebob Squarepants. Ok, just Sponges actually. Whatever you say or do, it gets stuck in their growing brains.
26. I am no Superman. But if you mess with my kids, I’ll Bite. Very. Hard.
27. Like how sugar attracts ants, children’s heads enjoy the same relationship with the floor.
28. Peace and quiet are not synonymous with children. People say when the kids have grown and become independent, that I will miss this entire ruckus. I don’t believe them.
29. The house is always in a state of mess.
30. Children are always far more intelligent buggers than we give them credit for.
31. Whenever planning to go out with kids, think of the time it will take everyone to get ready and double it. Even then, we will still be late.
32. Spend whatever time I get with my children. They do grow up too fast for my liking.
33. My children get more presents than me, even on my Birthday.
34. Love can get you to do some things that you never imagined yourself doing. Like changing clothes for Barbie.
35. I am the most important man in Ale’s eyes, but my wife has the most important breasts.
36. Whatever people told you about Parenthood, they are all true!
Our children’s joy is contagious. Children fill your house with love, joy, light, and happiness. Kids grow up so quickly. Cherish whatever stage in life they may be in, for Life is a gift. Becoming a parent will be the most fulfilling and enriching life experience that one will ever have. These clichÃ©s are all true.
And when you finally understand it, it is because you are a Dad too.