Fatherhood opens your eyes to a lot

COMMENT: Ask for ID - it’s better to be safe than sorry

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I’ve now been a dad for almost three years.

It feels like I’ve blinked and gone from one extreme to another.

A few years ago I was a man living with his girlfriend who could come and go as he pleased.

I didn’t need to think about what time the girls might wake up and then count the hours backwards to see how much sleep I would be getting that night.

I didn’t need to make sure hot drinks were put up high, away from curious little hands, and I didn’t need to do singsongs in the car on long journeys to keep other people entertained. Well, maybe I did do that, occasionally.

But now I’m a dad with two children who does do all these things every day.

Time really has flown and I have enjoyed every moment of the past three years – it really is the best job in the world.

I’d never want to go my back to my life before Caitlin and Alyssa arrived, but in the past few years I’ve realised things aren’t always easy for dads.

I believe most women have a natural instinct for looking after children, but us men have to learn it from scratch.

I was someone who had never changed a nappy before Caitlin arrived and now I feel I’ve learned so much about being a dad that I could write a large book on the subject for new expectant dads who are feeling a bit nervous about being in charge of a little human life.

I think one chapter would be titled Listen To Mums. I’ve realised that mums know everything about babies and children. I’ve asked experienced mums I know questions ranging from baby clothing to baby constipation. I’ve always been given an instant answer and it’s always turned out to be the correct one.

Another chapter would be about planning. With children there is no opportunity to wing it, planning is essential. Children like a routine and work better when you have one.

If you’ve planned the day out correctly you shouldn’t get any nasty surprises.

Like the time Alyssa decided to fill her nappy and I had forgotten to put some new ones in the baby bag (although I was quite impressed with the temporary nappy I created out of a towel).

I’d definitely have to include a few pages about the park. It’s a magical place that has multiple uses. Not only does it provide entertainment for children and give them the opportunity to mix with other children, it’s also perfect to make them as exhausted as possible. So when bedtime arrives they’ll happily trot off to the bedroom with no fuss.

Maybe I’ll call my book Warren’s Dad Survival Guide. I’m afraid it would cost you though because another thing I’ve learned is children are expensive.