Rock’n’roll dad (not)

It’s turning out to be much much harder than I’d anticipated to maintain a dissolute rock’n’roll lifestyle when you’re a dad.

Take New Year’s, for example. We only went round a friend’s – one local enough that we could walk between his house and ours – and I only drank white wine (and champagne, natch) because I don’t normally get a hangover drinking white wine; or at least, not one of my famous all-day vomit-fests. We were back home by 2am (Millie had spent most of the night blissfully asleep in a towel-lined drawer in our friend’s bedroom, except when all the ladies at the party piled in to watch the Lovely Melanie feed her), I had a cup of tea and went to bed, a bit drunk, I admit, but hardly rolling about on the floor singing Copacabana.

Suddenly it’s 7am, the alarm goes off as usual: Millie needs feeding and changing. So I get up, a bit groggy, and change the nappy. Have a glass of water and a lovely cup of tea, then back to wonderful bed while the Lovely Melanie does the actual feeding.

Ten minutes later, I’m in the bathroom removing the cup of tea and glass of water from my gullet, and feel so awful that I don’t surface again until about 1.30. Fortunately, the Lovely Melanie is made of sterner stuff (and drank less) so she’s still able to function and take care of our daughter.

I am a terrible father.

But the thing is, I did feel like a terrible father; and not only a terrible father but really really guilty that the Lovely Melanie had to do everything for most of that day, even though she was feeling “a bit rough”.

It’s an awful feeling sometimes, to keep realising that this is never going to stop. There’s no foreseeable point, really, when our lives will get back to how they were before. And as much as I love Millie and don’t regret having her for one single moment, it’s absolutely impossible to carry on going out anything like the way we did before we had her. Taking care of a very small child is quite difficult anyway, but if you’ve got even a mild hangover it very quickly becomes simply wretched. Wretched is definitely the word. Oh, yes.

So, I’m still going to go out and have a rare old time on my birthday in a couple of weeks, and the Lovely Melanie will have to take care of Millie on her own the next day, but that’s only because it’s my birthday. From now on, big nights out are going to be few and far between…

Which isn’t actually as bad as it sounds for us since Millie’s growing more attentive, chatty and interactive by the day now. She watches people come in and leave the room, looks around to see what that noise was behind her, and laughs and laughs and laughs – I had no idea babies laughed so much! And the lovely thing is that it’s such uninhibited laughter, so full of innocent joy that it’s frighteningly infectious, and we can all just sit around and laugh for, well, only for minutes really, but it feels like longer in retrospect.

Oh, and a very happy new year to everyone. 🙂

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