We all know the trouble with babies is that they don't come with instruction manuals. Imagine being responsible for the well-being of something so precious, just like that! One day you're in hospital, the next you're on your own.
Now there are government plans afoot to issue all prospective new dads with instruction manuals. Quite why fathers should get these and not mothers is beyond me. No, wait – I think I know!
Still, it does make you think: what actually makes a good dad?We all probably have very different ideas on that one. Some might think being able to follow Lego instructions is a must-have skill while others might prefer dads to know junior likes sandwiches in triangles and never, ever squares.
The new Dad's Guide to be issued by the government aims to get men more involved in their children's birth and upbringing. Here's my good dad checklist:
- We know you're tired but you haven't just carried around an increasingly heavy weight for nine months (then perhaps pushed it out of your body) so enough with the moaning. We win the Who's The Most Tired Competition and therefore the prize of a lie-in. Think of it as extra bonding time with your baby.
- Never, ever ask "what have you been doing all day" particularly if the little one is under six months. We don't know but we haven't stopped.
- Change nappies without being asked. We don't care how long it takes you, sharing is the key here.
- If you can't get involved with feeding the baby, master another hands-on skill like baby massage.
- Get into slinging the baby, then you can go for wonderful walks while we rest (and you'll be the centre of attention at the playground too). A man with a baby strapped to his chest is adorable.
- Be supportive, which means doing things like working the washing machine (and load it up too). We won't care a jot that you've shrunk our favourite jumper (well, we might but we won't be able to moan).
- Take turns with the not so fun stuff like colic-busting back rubbing at 2am as well as the giggle-inducing funny face pulling.
- Be there, a lot. Friday nights might have once meant the Five Bells with your five-a-side footie team but for now it means changing nappies, cooing at the cutest baby and sharing the load.