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One of the toughest, if not the toughest job in the world, is being a father.
It requires courage, diligence, bravery, compassion, loyalty and dignity. Most of all, it requires one to lose all fear of the unknown, because becoming a father for the first time, is taking a step – no, a giant leap – into the unknown.
I remember when little Miss Tantrum was born more than a quarter of a century ago. She was a little angel. She lay in her hospital cot for three days, tranquil as the night sky, her eyes sparkling like stars. She would purr like a kitten whenever I picked her up and she looked at me like nobody had ever done before.
Then we took her home. I cannot say for certain how she experienced her new surroundings, but I do know she was almightily disappointed. Carrying her into her home, she started screaming – not that I could blame her. No pool, no jacuzzi, no sports car.
It was the most frightening hour of my life. She somehow discovered her lungs and vocal cords were connected, and she gave a performance Ozzy Osbourne would have been proud of.
Eventually, as I recall, I acted as backing vocalist – complete with sweat (no, I’m not going to admit it was tears) streaming down my face.
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But she had me, and I had her, and I somehow convinced her we’d make the best of it.
I was pretending to be all dandy and dapper again until I came crashing down to earth once more when I performed my first nappy change.
No details required, except to say that paint really is a miracle product when you’re on a tight budget and leash.
Then it was feeding time.
Little Miss Tantrum proved Isaac Newton wrong: nothing went up and nothing came down, but whatever went in, came straight back out – all over me.
That was my first two hours of parenting and I must admit, I’ve never been the same again.
Now, little Miss Tantrum is about to become a mother – and I can’t wait.
As for the new father-to-be: get ready for one heck of a ride!
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