I knew I’d be walking an unknown path when I became a dad. But nothing prepared me for the strange and downright weird behaviour I’d soon be engaged in. Turns out I’m not alone. So here are my top 13 creepy things all parents do.
1. Smelling Butts
I have no hesitation in lifting my baby’s bum right up to my face and having a big sniff of their butt. Normally three to four times a day. And then declaring “Yep, they definitely need a change.”
2. Collecting Hair
I’ve already saved both of my children’s first curls. I’ve also bought some tiny silver boxes to keep their first teeth in. You know, just like a psychopathic killer.
3. Talking Like A Baby
“Goo, goo. Ootchie cootchie coo.” That’s the sort or drivel I’ve heard parents spout for years. I won’t lie, I used to look down on them. But now I find myself in the same nut job club. I know it sounds ridiculous, but I just can’t stop myself. Bingly bongly boo.
4. Picking Bogies
Every time I see a sticky goo-ball perched in my toddler’s nostril, I am compelled to free it. If there’s a tissue to hand, bonus. If not, I’ll happily go in with bare fingers. But it’s not that I’m doing it, it’s the fact that I’m totally unfazed by it.
5. Wearing Sick Stained Clothes
How did it ever become acceptable for me to visit friends, eat in a fancy restaurant or go to work with sick on my clothes? Before kids, I’d be mortified. After kids, I don’t bat an eyelid. If anything, I wear the stains as a badge of honour.
6. Eating Leftover Food
Of course “waste not want not” is a sound philosophy to live by. But this is something different. I’m talking about shovelling scraps of unwanted baby food into my mouth nearly every mealtime. The reason? Usually because I just don’t have a wipe to hand and it’s easier and less stressful to pop the mangled morsels in my mouth than root around for a cloth.
7. Calling My Wife “Mummy”
I now regularly call my wife “Mummy.” And she calls me “Daddy.” We’ve even used these names when our kids aren’t around. Enough said.
8. Lying To My Kids
I always thought Christmas was a time of innocent fun and festivity. But then I found myself weaving a web of eerie lies to my two-year-old daughter. It turns out that an obese man is going to break into our house while we’re asleep, get drunk on a load of booze we put out for him, and then leave presents under the dying tree we put up in the corner of the lounge. Oh, and he will only leave presents if you’ve been a really good girl. And he’ll know. Why? Because he’s ALWAYS watching you. Merry Christmas little ones.
9. Loving Kids’ Movies
I rarely get to watch the latest Hollywood releases these days, so my excitement (and it’s genuine by the way) comes from seeing the latest kids’ movies going on release. The story lines are usually tenuous at best, but I’ve never been so pumped seeing Postman Pat or Paddington Bear on the big screen. And as for Frozen. Don’t get me started. I’ll win any ‘Let It Go’ sing off there is. Bring it on bambinos.
10. Throwing Shapes to Disney
I hadn’t listened to the Jungle Book soundtrack since I was about 10 years old. And now I can’t believe I’ve waited 20 years to be reunited with Baloo and King Louie. Not only do I find myself dancing, prancing and scratching my back all over the lounge, I have to smile at the genius messages Uncle Walt was passing onto us. “Don’t spend your time looking around for something you want that can’t be found. When you find out you can live without it. And go along not thinking about it. I’ll tell you something true. The bare necessities of life will come to you.”Probably the best movie soundtrack of all time. Fact.
11. Saying “I Have To Go Potty”
This is the tragic aftermath of potty training no-one ever tells you about. The toilet or restroom in my house will forevermore be known as “the potty.” I often tell my wife “I have to go potty” even when the kids aren’t around. And this faux pas isn’t isolated to the home environment. I’ve been known to drop the “potty” bomb at work. Cue bewildered and disapproving stares.
12. Talking To Dolls
I regularly talk to my two-year-old’s dolls as if they’re living, breathing inhabitants of my home. “Hello Annabelle, how are you today? Would you like some milk? I’m just going to sit you here Annabelle, is that okay?” This is a new level of freakiness that even Chucky would be proud of. “Wanna play?” Urm, no thanks, I’m aright.
13. Spit-Cleaning My Kid’s Face
I hated it when my parents did it to me. And I vowed never do it to my kids. But here I am, twenty years on, liberally hucking up the white stuff and plastering it all over my kids’ faces. And the weirdest part of it all? I’ve got wipes in my bag.