I am a father of three girls, consisting of a 5 year old singleton and a set of 9 month old twins. I suppose that gives me some rights to give out parenting tips to all other newbie fathers out there especially those who are expecting or already blessed with double bundles of --sleep-depriving, back-breaking, tears-inducing-- joy. These are free advices as indirectly taught to me by my ever lovely daughters. However, as all free things in this world are made to be, please take them with a pinch of salt, or if you like it, with sugar on top.
1. It’s OK to let your daughters scoot or run around wearing just diapers. I know this may look like a cardinal sin of parenthood, to let your cute child scoot around the house with one of the straps on her diaper unfastened. People would frown and disapprove. But what is wrong with these people? Anyone who has ever tried to put a diaper and then the romper on a healthy infant knows it’s like trying to stuff a squirming, pissed-off, big bad cat with claws unretracted, into a coin purse. So for the sake of your sanity and also health, let her scoot around in her huggies. Yes Raina, Abah is talking about you.
2. Sometimes little babies or even toddlers just have to cry. It’s OK to let them cry. Contrary to what many newbie parents believe, our job as fathers is not to prevent the child from crying. Our job is to prevent the child from stepping on her twin baby sisters while dancing to a warped version of some unrecognizable nursery rhymes on her little laptop. Or in some cases, to prevent her from hugging the kitten so tight its eyes got so big like they’re going to pop out from its head.
3. Your children observe and mimic every single thing you do. So, if you curse or say a naughty word like "stupid" when a rempit cuts blindly in front of your van, don’t be surprised when your 5 year old daughter says the same when Tom got careless and Jerry scared the skeleton out of him with an air-horn.
4. There are more varieties of fluids in one child than there are behind the beverage counter of a typical mamak restaurant. And all of them are destined to come out of the child in different quantities from time to time. Sometimes, there would be a blob of snot the size of a fuji apple that comes out of the right nostril of your daughter when she sneezes. Sometimes, she would vomit a bucketful on your bed when she coughs too much after non-stop jumping just before bedtime despite your asking her to stop for like a hundred and fifty times already. Other times, they pee and poop beyond what their huggies can take, and leak onto your shirt just as you entered the shopping complex. My point is, you must be prepared for all possibilities.
5. You must be able to withstand torture, when your daughter wants to watch Monsters Inc. again for the 545th time right about the time Liverpool is starting the game against the bloody Manchus.
6. You should learn to be able to take a kick or punch in the balls. Your kids will hit you there either accidently or with evil intent no matter how hard you try to “protect” it. This will go on once every few days until they turn 12, or so I heard.
7. You’ll NEVER sleep soundly through the night again. That is written in the manual and absolutely unavoidable. But I’ll be up too, so leave me a comment.
P.s There'll be more tips in the future as the infinite wisdom of Nuha, Raina and Raisa flows into me (more like splattered onto me) and i'll definitely be sharing them with other struggling daddies out there.