14/10/2009 09:02 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Confessions Of A Nearly-Dad: I'm Already In Baby Bootcamp

This week our guest dad columnist, children's author Alex Milway, is already getting used to sleepless nights and performing chauffeur duties.

As a nearly-dad you have to be able to accept an order, without discourse or any mumblings of annoyance. That's the thing with being the male during the pregnancy term -- I played my very necessary part a long time ago, and now I'm the dutiful supporting role, the back-up, the wing man.

Actually, the past six months have been a remarkably good bootcamp for all things to come. I've become adept at bending down to pick things up for my immobile partner. This, I can see, will pay dividends when I come to collecting the discarded bottle, dummy, or spoon that's found its merry way to the floor.

I no longer consider my days my own. I am split into six. I jump up at a moment's notice, mid-sentence, to drive to the doctor's surgery, the station or the shop.
This is it now for good, and that's fine. In a few years time I'll be driving to football practice, orchestra or the shops, and I won't bat an eyelid because I've been here before.

I'm good at cooking ridiculous food. Just two months ago all I could cook for my partner were meals containing potato or pasta. I can't tell you how exciting that was. But in a few years time, when my child will only eat green or red food, I'll deal with it better than ever.

And then there are the necessary early morning snacks. The scrunching of biscuit wrappers and the flopping of banana skins might as well be the teary cries of a newborn at 3am.

So I've come to look at the pregnancy term as a dress rehearsal for fatherhood, and who knows, maybe I'll be better prepared than I thought I'd be?

The third book in Alex Milway's Mousehunter trilogy will be available in January 2010 (Faber & Faber).

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