When I was a kid, I made a promise to myself that I would never turn into my dad.
Don't get me wrong, he didn't beat me up or anything. He's actually a pretty nice chap. But, like all dads, he was embarrassing, chubby, and thought he was super-cool when in reality he was, like, really SAD.
But, now I'm older, wiser - and a father - I've found myself turning into him more and more every day (much to my wife's disquiet). Even consciously trying to refrain from mimicking his mannerisms or sayings doesn't work; like the world's obsession with Justin Bieber, this thing is unstoppable and will only get worse.
The one consolation is I'm not alone; it happens to the best of us. So, here, in no particular order, are the 50 ways you know you're turning into your dad.
1. You refuse to accept your gut.
At one point in my life I had something resembling a six-pack; now, it's more like a barrel. (Don't get me wrong, the six-pack is still there, it's just protected by an inch-thick layer of blubber.) But when I stand sideways in front of the mirror, gut sucked in, chest puffed, I still think I'm super-hunky.
2. You fall asleep watching TV.
And do that thing where as you breathe out you make a little 'pffff' sound. Occasionally you'll snort, and wake yourself up.
3. You listen to awful music.
"I want my songs!" yells Isaac, from the back seat of the car. Despite being able to feel his little eyes burning into the back of my head, I ignore him. "Stuff that!" I say. "Let's listen to some UB40, followed by back-to-back M People albums! This is real music!"
4. You complain about loud music in bars.
When I was a kid, I'd roll my eyes if my dad complained about loud music in public places. Now, I'm all like: "Do they have to have it on so loud?" followed by the standard: "I can't even hear myself think!"
5. You embarrass your children and think you're funny.
And I'm oblivious to son's shame.
6. You think you're cool.
I'm definitely as cool now as I was when I was a wee lad. I say cool things like "rad", and "wicked", and I give everyone high-fives. What do you mean, that's sad?
7. You catch vomit with dazzling skill.
8. You can only play sports for short bursts.
Once, I'd be able to run around a football pitch for 90 minutes without so much as a bead of sweat. Now, I last five minutes before I'm hunched over, hands on knees, fighting for breath and feeling like I might die.
9. You choose clothes based on practicality.
I don't care if the huge pockets on these baggy shorts aren't fashionable, they're great for holding my phone, wallet and keys. I can even clip a phone holder to my belt, if I so wish. That looks cool, right?
10. You jangle loose change in your pocket.
11. You realise it's hard setting an example.
That means no shouting, no hitting, and no turning the air blue when I stub my toe.
12. You only dance from the waist up.
It doesn't matter though. It's really cool dancing. I have this great side-to-side motion with my hips, and wave my hands stiffly in front of my quivering belly. The chicks love it.
13. You look to other dads for justification.
Argh, I'm in the pub when I should really be taking the kids to the park. Now my wife's looking after them, and she's getting stroppy. I am alright being here aren't I, lads? Yeah? Yes, of course I am. That's OK then.
14. You know all the words to nursery rhymes.
15. You start using phrases like "I'm not asking you, I'm telling you!"
Yes, all of those clichéd phrases I swore I'd never use are now spilling out of my mouth every day. I'm going to count to three...
16. You carry your child from your bedroom to his when he's ill.
Being carried to bed by your dad is probably many peoples' cosiest childhood memory. Now it's my turn to give that memory to my child. That is, until he gets too heavy.
17. You make awful jokes but think they're hilarious.
Not only that, but I think they're so good that I repeat them to different people at any given opportunity. No one laughs but me, but that just means I'm cooler than they are.
18. You think socks with sandals is acceptable. Not just any socks. White socks.
19. You get confused by new technology.
What on earth is 'cloud computing'? How do I work this high-definition TV? In my day we had five channels, and that was it.
20. You only want a mobile that makes calls and sends texts.
None of this new-fangled mobile Internet Wi-Fi Bluetooth nonsense, please. Also, I'd quite like a phone with buttons that aren't so tiny only a toddler has thumbs small enough to avoid hitting five keys at once.
21. You make noises when sitting down and standing up. A kind of "ooofffff".
22. You keep screws in case you need them again.
Taking a desk apart? Don't throw away the screws, lad! Put them in this handy little tub. I keep all my old screws in there. I keep them in the shed, next to the stick I use to stir paint.
23. You don't know any artists in the Top 40. Who on earth is Snoop Dogg? Is that Snoopy, of Peanuts/Charlie Brown fame? Tinie Tempah? Is that what you call a kid having a strop? In my day, it was REO Speedwagon or REM, and music had lyrics that meant something.
24. You get awful hangovers. With just one bottle of wine.
25. You double up as a climbing frame.
The way my kids crawl all over me - sitting on my back, hanging off my neck - you'd think I was some kind of human coat stand. This is doing my back no good at all.
26. You get pestered to play.
Please, for once, can I just sit down and read the paper?! I don't want to go outside! No, I don't want to play trains, we did that five minutes ago! Leave me alone!
27. You grow man-boobs.
I spent most of my youth staring at the breasts of various women. Now, I seem to have sprouted a pair of my own.
28. You take note of weather reports. Ooh, scattered showers? Better wear my anorak.
29. You get annoyed by TV adverts.
30. You never throw anything away.
Everything is now placed into its proper bin and recycled. If I pull a bit of skirting board off a wall during a DIY frenzy, I have to keep it - just in case, at some point in the future, I find myself desperately needing a bit of skirting board.
31. You fantasise about a good night's sleep.
32. Your annual bonus goes towards paying off debts.
Instead of using the few hundred quid of annual bonus on a nice holiday, I find myself paying off credit card debts incurred by having to buy hundreds of Christmas presents for two squealing children.
33. You take board games seriously.
34. You have to listen to those five words hated by all parents.
I was once the annoying brat who uttered them, now I wince whenever I hear them. "Are we nearly there yet...?" Alternatively: "Can you wipe my bottom?!"
35. You crave afternoon naps. Being expected to stay awake from 6am to 10pm is unreasonable.
36. You grow nose and ear hair.
37. You wear a coat when you're playing football and it's cold.
38. You get excited by fire engines and tractors.
So much so, that I'll point at one and yell "Tractor!" even when there's no-one else in the car.
39. You become disgusted at the latest fashion.
Look at that boy, with the waistband of his jeans tucked beneath his buttocks! I don't want to see his boxer shorts! Why are all his clothes so tight on him? The youth of today revolt me.
40. You don't understand what the kids of today are saying.
In my day, everything was "wicked" and "ace". Now, kids say things are "sick" (which means good) and "joke" (which also means good). I have no idea what they're talking about, half the time.
41. You panic about bald patches.
Does my hairline look as if it's receding to you? Oh no, I'm thinning on top! Do women still find bald men sexy? *contemplates combover*.
42. You make random threats.
"If you don't start behaving, I will stop the car on the side of the motorway right now!"
43. You would give anything for your kids.
Soppy, I know, but now I'm a dad I realise how much my father must have loved me. Y'know, before I became a teenager.
44. You have a tool box.
What was once a carrier bag with a screwdriver in it is now a big metal tool box full of nails, hammers, Rawlplugs, you name it. I don't know how to use them, mind. I just carry them around.
45. You hate it when your kids run on the lawn.
I've watered and mown that, you brats! Tended it with my loving hands! Stop kicking the ball into the flowers!
46. You don't want anyone to tell you the football scores.
I spend most of my Saturdays with my eyes tightly shut and my hands clamped over my ears, just so I can watch Match of the Day and get a little surprise if my team wins.
47. You can butter toast like a pro.
When I was a kid, I was rubbish at buttering toast properly. Even as an adult, I struggled to get it right into the corners without buttering most of my thumb. Now, with two kids clambering at my thighs and howling for breakfast, I can butter a slice of toast in five seconds flat.
48. You look like a meth addict most of the time.
I used to look youthful: no dark shadows under my eyes, hair neatly groomed. Now, personal care has gone out of the window, and I spend most of the day looking like I've spent the night on Class A drugs.
49. The only films you get to watch are Toy Story and Monsters, Inc.
I haven't been to the cinema in three years. For once, I'd love to watch a film that isn't a PG rating and contains a convincing explosion.
50. Your whole life revolves around your kids.
I'm not after fame, or massive wealth. I work for my family now, to provide for them: and I can finally appreciate how hard my dad worked for me.
Do you appreciate your own dads - nose hair and all - now you're one?