Being Dad

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There’s no room for ego in being Dad I say. Here is my story. Not so long ago, 5 years to be exact, I was your typical young city bachelor. Upwardly mobile and quite carefree about much in life. I was comfortable, especially since I had more money than I needed at my age.

Life moves fast when you’re a bachelor

Food, rent and fuel, plus the occasional garage trip were my only financial commitments. However, this didn’t seem to stop the never ending 30 day cycle which left me always with way more month at the end of my money. This would typically happen within only 10 days after I picked my pay cheque.

Life moves fast when you’re a bachelor. More so when the only person you care about is you. And in that speed, bam! I had met a girl and bam! I really fancied her and bam! Bam!! We were expecting!

Ray turned our lives around more than 360 degrees

Today, we are the parents of our 18 month old baby Ray. He has surely turned our lives around more than 360 degrees, to a tangent that neither his Mummy nor I thought we’d have taken at this stage in our lives.

Ray is our life. Through him, we have learnt immensely deep lessons about life in a way that only a baby can teach. We view the world so differently that if we met the us of 5 years ago, we’d slap us silly! And perhaps tell us to go make a baby. On my part, I owe it to Ray for my two most valuable lessons anyone could ever teach me.

An infant dupes you that you’ve gotten him to sleep…

Before Ray even got here, he had a way of knocking patience into me. He made sure that I learnt how to deal with his expectant mummy throughout those trying 9 months. Maybe in this way he got me prepared for more. Once he got here, there was indeed more for us to learn! From how to hold him ever so delicately, getting him cleaned up, and the best of it, sleeping at his mercy.

To this date, I am convinced that no other experience can equate an infant’s wail every 45 minutes after duping you into thinking that you have gotten him to sleep. The first 3 weeks were but the worst, after which I learnt that it was best to operate as he wished. Somehow this generated into me finding it as such a pleasure to watch him watching me. Well, thinking that he’s torturing me by keeping me awake, yet I had learnt his game. I had won. Or so I thought.

Patience. I have learnt patience!

With each growing day, each new skill that he learns while hitting his milestones requires patience from us. Actions we grownups (who are not parents) take for granted – like, learn how to smile, learn how to respond to sound, hold and crane his neck, sit upright, crawl walk, put syllables together to form words, each of these requires droves of patience. Patience. Yes, I have learnt patience.

In being dad, there is no room for ego

And as Ray continues to grow, this former uber bachelor realizes that the ego so once revered fizzled away. This is the second most important lesson Ray has taught me. That – in being dad, there is no room for ego. I do ‘uncool’ things like rushing home every other day, yes, including Friday, to make sure I can feed him and play with him before his bedtime.

I know people who knew me before this that might certify me insane if they walked in to me sprawled on the carpet teaching Ray how to roll over, or hiding behind curtains playing hide and seek, or pretending that we are a marching band in the house. Ego? Which one? There’s no room for ego in being Dad, I say.

I now have more money left

For me, these past 18 months, have been the most valuable and most enjoyable in all my 30 years. Also, thanks to wiser choices, I now have more money left every end of the month despite there being 5 times as more demands as there were 5 years ago. For this, I look forward to many more years of being Dad.

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