Confidently throwing your child in the air is an essential skill to master, as it provides an opportunity for you to mask your crippling insecurities and self-doubt with a display of athletic skill and poise. 1950’s TV gangsters tossed coins, cowboys chewed toothpicks, and new dads throw babies up and down. It’s all the same thing. You’re shitting yourself, but you adopt an air of bravado to fool your adversaries.
The key to impressing the soon-to-be-gathering crowd, is to avoid feeble-armed, non-committal throws by driving through the heels, exploding with the hamstrings and glutes, and lobbing the child into the air as high as physically possible.
Extra points are awarded for lengthways rotations, and points are deducted (from your child’s potential IQ) for any dropped catches.
If another new dad challenges you to a baby throw-off, the stakes can be raised by selecting a suitably high object (such as a tree branch) to attempt to throw the children over. In these circumstances a basketball hoop is a viable option, but this should only be attempted by advanced baby throwers, unless of course, money is involved.
In the next edition of New Dad Advice: rolling cigarettes while steering with your knees – essential skills for the modern dad.
New dads, if you’ve completely failed at life, then good news! You can now live vicariously through your children by ruthlessly driving them to succeed where you could not.
Have you always wanted to be a pro track cyclist but unfortunately you have legs like two overcooked carrots? No probs. Simply cajole, coax and guilt your offspring into wanting the same things as you. Then, attach their trike to your treadmill, set it to max incline, and withhold your love until their 500m split drops below 3 mins. Easy.
The younger you start this process, the more chance you’ll have of being able to warm your tiny, chapped hands on the golden glow of their achievements at some point in the future.
It is possible, however, that one day your thankless child will bad-mouth you in their bestselling autobiography… but always remember that Michael Jackson could never have morphed into a mega-rich weirdo without a selfless, dedicated father figure whipping him with a belt till he got those dance moves just right.
In next week’s New Dad Advice: does binge drinking beat Mindfulness? Our comprehensive guide on how to give less of a f*ck.
New dads, prepare to be dismayed when I say that, contrary to a lifetime of social conditioning, it turns out that breasts are actually for feeding babies and not just for fondling, honking, and motor-boating.
Nevertheless, some people still attempt to argue – in the name of good-old-fashioned moral decency – that breasts are nothing more than fetishised sex objects whose raison d’être is to be jizzed on in porno flicks… and that to bare them in any other context (i.e. public breastfeeding), is almost as offensive as me waving to my fellow morning commuters with my erect penis.
When confronted with people like this, aside from stabbing them with a frozen copy of the Daily Mail whittled into an icy spike, the most successful approach is to place your hand over your heart, and with misty eyes, sing the raciest passages of 50 Shades of Grey to the tune of Jerusalem. This will cause the public-breast-feeding critic to either implode with confused indignation, or to run away like the uptight cock-end that they are.
In next week’s NDA: ‘watch your swearing, young man’. How to avoid being a conversational dullard with our essential tips on creative cursing.
Your toddler has shit running down her leg, it’s starting to rain, and she’s insisting on walking back from the shop while eating an apple that you have to peel and chop symmetrically with a pen-knife, while also persuading her not to wander into oncoming traffic.
In these circumstances, you are obviously the adult, she is the child, therefore you should assert your cast-iron authority and bung her in the pushchair, right?
A parent of a toddler is little more than a grovelling, subservient advisor to a tiny, hyper-volatile tyrant, and as such, you must always abide by the three golden rules: appease, placate, and imbibe.
Your dignity is already a tattered, filthy shit-rag, and unless you give in to your toddler’s every demand, she has the power to publicly strip you of your last vestige of self-respect, leaving you exposed and cowed in the ‘whoops’ section of Asda while she rolls around on the floor howling and defecating.
So, give her the stolen apple, let her totter along the main road, and drink deeply from your Kath Kidston travel-mug filled with Stella. Pow! Everyone’s a winner.
In the next edition of New Dad Advice: ‘my toddler is better at DIY than me’. One dad’s tale of shame.
Your child’s personality is largely waiting to be shaped and coloured by your parental input; when kids are brand new, they’re pretty much a blank canvas.
So, with that in mind, will you spend a lifetime painstakingly painting a sublime, nuanced masterpiece, or will you just doodle pictures of knobs in biro while watching Masterchef?
Obviously you should strive for the former, but what if you’re parentally cack-handed and no matter how hard you sweat and toil to produce something decent, they still turn out to be a bit of a knob?
My advice is to try your best either way. Because, in the future if you find yourself living in a bin-bag under a bridge because your kids won’t help pay for your nursing home fees, at least you can point your bony, arthritic finger at them and curse the little bastards for being ungrateful, etc.
Whereas, if their childhood mostly involved them fetching you beers and sweeping chimneys, then you’ll have zero emotional leverage and will probably just have to get used to life under the bridge.
In next week’s edition of New Dad Advice: misery may deepen ‘like a coastal shelf…’, but the Hollyoaks omnibus is still worse.
Despite their moniker, a baby sitter should only ever sit on the furniture, on a toddler, or on the fence if you’re arguing with the wife.
Should your baby sitter offer to sit on you, be sure to repel him/ her with a sharp slap, because mixing ‘romance’ with childcare will, at best, wake the child, and at worst, lead to a dispute regarding their hourly rate.
Furthermore, do not clean up prior to the sitter’s arrival. If your house is a filthy, cluttered hovel, the sitter will be less inclined to snoop about and accidentally come across (and start smoking from) your collection of vintage, art-deco bongs. No one wants to return home to discover an unconscious, drooling teenager has eaten a month’s supply of cheese before passing out upside down on the children’s slide.
In the next edition of New Dad Advice; MILFS and DILFS – derogatory, pejorative labelling, or just a bit of what you fancy? A question for the ages.
Sadly, it is not possible for new dads to have fun. Gurning your tits off at an all-day rave is no longer permitted, and any wistful expression of nostalgia for ‘the old days’ is to be avoided at all costs.
The secret to coping with your new reality is as follows. Go to your garden, open your shed, and step inside. This is now your domain.
Find an ostensibly important job that only you can undertake, and then engross yourself. Examples include: mending old shit, cleaning old shit, building useless shit.
The trick is to generate the outward appearance of industriousness and thrift, while allowing yourself time to quietly pursue whatever non-new-dad-friendly hobby you choose. Cigarettes, mucky magazines, miniature train sets; within the sanctuary of a garden shed, the possibilities are without limit.
In next week’s edition of New Dad Advice; a pint of Calpol, a blow torch, and a length of twine – how to cure wanker’s elbow with simple household items.
At 15, my father was tearing coal from the ground with his bare hands. He also slept in a Sycamore tree for just two hours a night and ate nothing but raw liver and onions, which he paid for with the money he won fighting kangaroos at the weekends.
I, on the other hand, recently shed a tear when I bumped my funny-bone and dropped the Instagram-worthy cloud eggs that I was removing from the oven (they were mostly salvageable, thank god).
However, by following these three simple rules, it is possible to erect a convincing façade of manly robustness to impress your offspring and poke fear into the quivering hearts of the other new dads, even if you are secretly a massive fanny.
Rule number 1.
If you suddenly burst into tears in public because little Tarquin puked his blueberry gloop on your favourite new white trainers, adroitly sidestep any embarrassment by instantly consuming a ‘Tequila Hardman’. Simply snort the salt, slam the Tequila, and squeeze the lemon in your eye. Voila! You simultaneously saved face and looked tough by turning tears of sorrow into tears of manly pain.
Rule number 2.
When questioned about the birth of your child, always reply enthusiastically that you loved every minute. Obviously you were at the business end with a camcorder, and once the going got tough, you ordered the feeble-armed quack to stand aside so you could wield those forceps like a real man.
Rule number 3.
Willingly watching kids’ TV with a hangover is the modern equivalent of donning horse-hair shirts and self-flagellation. Have another beer with breakfast to soften you up, then set Cbeebies to max volume and force yourself to watch the terrible wankers prance about. Doing this regularly is the only known method of hardening your sensibilities to the grim realities of parenting. However, if pursuing this approach I would strongly urge caution, as too much undiluted Cbeebies can potentially cause irreparable damage to your TV via your fists and feet.
In the next edition of New Dad Advice: are your toddler’s tantrums ‘normal developmental behaviour’, or is he really just a bit of a dick?
If you are a new dad, you are no longer cool. Attempt to slow your inevitable decline towards socks with crocs, etc, by adhering to the following.
Immediately strike the word ‘cool’ from your lexicon and adopt more current, up-to-date terms, such as ‘lit,’ or ‘fleek’. E.g. “this stone-baked artisan focaccia is totally lit”.
If you absolutely have to undertake DIY, attempt to injure yourself slightly. Nothing gives off cool, ‘tough guy’ dad vibes like a few broken fingers or burn holes in your forearms from spatters of drain unblocker.
Finally, if you’re forced to change a nappy in public, emulate the behaviour of those dog walkers that everyone hates, and dangle the plastic bag of shit from the nearest low-hanging tree branch, or bush. As unsavoury as it might seem, this kind of nonchalant give-a-f*ckery fundamentally underpins the very notion of cool, because being responsible is not cool. Hence this week’s advice.
Remember to maintain the façade at all times, and if you see another new dad jogging awkwardly with a pushchair, or gamely plodding round Ikea looking at Fjaderklints and Dagwinkles, exchange a glance but give nothing away. Because you are cool.
In the next edition of New Dad Advice; hitting your child is not OK, but what if you’re hitting them with something comical, like a massive fish?
Another new dad has implied that his child is better than yours. How do you respond?
You could light a joss-stick and meditate on the Buddhist path; renounce the self and cultivate ‘non-attachment’, for the ego is the root of all suffering, etc.
Or, you could take the proper approach, and restore your family honour by challenging the smug prick to a duel.
Slapping with a glove is a twee Hollywood affectation and should always be avoided. Instead, the challenge can be issued using whatever object is closest to hand; a baby toy will suffice, but something like a heavy-based table lamp would be preferable.
The only circumstances under which duellists may fight to the death, is if a new dad’s wife/ partner has been notified (by the other new dad) of a parental oversight. E.g. “your little Jimmy fell in the pond and a duck shat on him, didn’t your husband tell you?”
Duelling convention also dictates that babies are not to be used as human shields. Personally, I consider this self-evident given how impractically small they are, and would suggest mother-in-laws may be better suited for this purpose.
In next week’s edition of New Dad Advice – being forced to watch the Hollyoaks omnibus on a comedown; one dad’s journey to hell and back.