It couldn't last...with just over two months to go
our relatively peaceful household has descended into chaos, even before the baby arrives. First our two-year old fell ill with a bad virus, then I got it too and then my wife's mother, who travelled up to our house to help, got it worst of all.
This left my now quite heavily pregnant wife as the only person in our home not unwell and scurrying around trying to tend to everyone else.
Then I hit 40, alarming enough, and promptly did my back in on the very day. Now neither of the adults in the house is able to bend down easily, meaning our two-year-old is having to pick anything up that falls to the floor. About time, I say!
Meanwhile my wife is still struggling to work amid the horrors of trying to get a seat on the train.
I thought it was an old cliche that men didn't give up their seats to pregnant women. But it appears that it's still somewhat true.
Despite her 'baby on board' badge my wife says that it's usually only other women who ever offer her a place to sit when she's standing there looking like she's smuggled a ball out of the local bowling alley.
Her theory is not so much that men are simply selfish, but that, in their morning daze, most of them are only primed to notice women who 'are very obviously worth eyeing up'!
I think this is actually much more plausible than the other theory, only ever put about by men, that they're too embarrassed to relinquish their seat in case the female in question is overweight rather than pregnant.
In my experience acts of obvious chivalry are pretty much always appreciated by the opposite sex and it really is worth the infinitesimally small chance of ending up red-faced to save a pregnant woman from suffering in silence.
Mind you, my only contribution to my wife's woes at the moment seems to be offer up the occasional foot massage for her sore feet. Of course they're very rare – well I have my back to think of don't I?
Talking of transport, I've suddenly realised that our little car is probably too small to accommodate a two-year-old who is already the size of most four-year-olds and three more of us.
Our deluxe baby car seat
from the first time around was ridiculously expensive (we won't be making those sort of rookie financial blunders again) and is so elaborate that it won't fit behind the driver's seat when it's pushed back.
After shelling out on a garden office, so I can continue working from home and make way for junior's new bedroom
, we simply can't afford a new motor so we'll just have to cope somehow.
Though I won't be following my dad's solution of simply putting the youngest child loose in the boot, albeit when he was about seven. Somehow, on long journeys to the South of France in the 1980s, that seemed OK.
And it did, actually, prove very useful, especially when on one holiday the suitcase fell off the roof rack. My little brother was perfectly placed to alert my father to the fact that it was now lying in the ditch about 500 yards back.
As far as preparations for the birth go, it's got to the stage where I've had to warn the people I work for that I might disappear into the dark recesses of a maternity ward soon and suddenly.
In my experience male colleagues are actually very understanding in this respect.
If they have children they remember the sweaty palmed nervousness at the thought of getting their partners to the delivery room in time. If they haven't got kids then they are so freaked out by the very thought of having to get into discussions about labour and all that "women's stuff" that they'd almost agree to anything.
Oh, and as for the baby? He's on the move too. We're not quite sure whether he's simply shuffling about in an awkward way, embarrassed by our increasingly odd behaviour, or just getting himself into the right position for birth.
If he's anything like his older brother he's bedding down for a long innings thinking: "I'll just stay here for a bit until things calm down."
You can catch up on previous dad's pregnancy diaries here
- Mr Incredible, The Incredibles
Bob Par and wife Helen are former superheroes, forced to relocate to the suburbs and live as ‘normally’ as possible with children Dash, Violet and Jack-Jack. Easier said than done, and when Bob, aka Mr Incredible is drawn back into his superhero world, he leaves behind three sad little ones who just want their dad back. Lucky Bob realises his mistake, and proves that to be a real superhero, all he needs to do is make his kids proud.<br />
<strong>Favourite quote: </strong>‘I’m sorry. I’ve been a lousy father. So obsessed with being undervalued that I undervalued all of you.’</p>
- Daniel, Love Actually
Dashing Daniel is faced with looking after stepson, Sam, all alone after his wife, Sam’s mum, dies. He seems clueless, but gets better as time goes on, doting over the little guy and helping him snag his crush at school, learn the drums and come to terms with losing his mum. We challenge anyone not to well up at the end when Sam calls Daniel ‘dad’ for the first time.</p>
<strong>Favourite quote:</strong> ‘This stepfather thing seems so suddenly to somehow matter like it never did before.’</p>
- Alfie Moon, Eastenders
So he isn’t technically Tommy’s dad, but we all saw loveable Alfie’s heart break when he thought the little man had died during the baby cot death swap saga. And when Tommy was returned to Kat and Alfie and he bought him a mini football strip to match his own pyjamas, he went straight to the top of the list for sheer cuteness.</p>
- George Banks, Father of the Bride
Anyone with a grown up daughter will relate to poor George. He's put well and truly through the emotional and financial ringer as he prepares to walk his not-so-little-girl, Annie, down the aisle, facing the reality that his once baby girl is ready to face the world alone.<br />
<strong>Favourite quote:</strong> ‘I suddenly realised what was happening. Annie was all grown up and was leaving us, and something inside began to hurt.’</p>
- Chris Gardener, The Pursuit of Happiness
Chris’ wife has walked out, and he’s skint. Faced with a life where he and his son, Christopher, are broke and homeless, he takes on an unpaid internship at a stockbrokers to learn the trade and make a mint, while teaching his son impeccable moral standards along the way to boot.<br />
<strong>Favourite quote:</strong> ‘I made up my mind that when I had children, my children were going to know who their father was.’</p>
- Martin Crane, Frasier
Down-to-earth Martin likes the simple life with minimal fuss, which is made tricky when he shares a flat with grown-up son, Frasier, who is a fan of the finer things in life, just like his brother, Niles. In one memorable episode, Frasier throws out Martin’s beloved leather chair, which upsets lovely Martin as it has huge sentimental value. Frasier realises his mistake and sets off to make amends, realising his dad isn’t all too bad in the process.</p>
- Homer Simpson, The Simpsons
Hapless but hilarious dad Homer might not always put his kids Bart, Lisa and you-never-quite-know-what-she’s-thinking Maggie first, but he always comes through for them in the end. And you couldn’t help but love him when he worked two jobs and barely slept to buy little Lisa a pony.<br />
<strong>Favourite quote:</strong> ‘Well, it's 1am. Better go home and spend some quality time with the kids.’</p>
- Mick, Gavin and Stacey
The loveable dad to Essex boy Gavin, Mick is the long-suffering husband to Gavin’s mum, Pam, and puts up with long drives to see future daughter-in-law Stacey’s family in sunny Barry. He has, as character Ness would say, ‘a cracking’ relationship with Gavin, cemented in the touching scene where the pair discuss a very sad Gavin’s possible infertility.</p>
- Charles Ingalls, aka, Pa, Little House on the Prairie
The pillar of the family’s small farming community, Pa Ingalls juggled life on the ranch and raising three girls, along with sorting scuffles in neighbouring families. The family didn’t have a lot of money, but were rich in love and respect for each other as they faced a tough old life on the American frontier, with Pa leading the charge.</p>
- Ben Harper, My Family
Moody Ben is dad to hapless Nick, sharp-tongued Janey and brainbox Michael, who is far too clever for Ben and outwits him on a daily basis. All he wants in life is a bit of peace and quiet, and his wife, Susan, to stop cooking such awful meals. He gets his wish briefly when Nick and Janey move out, but in comes lodger Abi, and Janey is never too far away with her son, Kenzo, to disturb the peace…</p>
- Daniel Hillard / Mrs. Euphegenia Doubtfire, Mrs Doubtfire
Poor Daniel seems to attract trouble, and when wife Miranda kicks him out and takes custody of kids, Lydia, Christopher and Natalie, he walks into even more trouble, by dressing as an ageing grandmother and starting work as the family’s housekeeper in disguise. Extreme? Yes. But no one can argue this dad won’t go the extra mile for his children.</p>
<strong>Favourite quote:</strong> ‘I admire that honesty, Natalie, that's a noble quality. Never lose that.'</p>
- Geppetto, Pinocchio
Inventor Gepetto is desperate for his wooden puppet, Pinocchio, to become a real boy, and a real son for him. His wish is granted, and despite Pinocchio lying, sorry, fibbing (children’s film) regularly, his dedicated father, Gepetto, is always his biggest supporter. When Pinocchio finally sheds his wooden body, Gepetto’s dedication pays off, and he is rewarded with an, altogether now, ‘real boy!’.</p>
<strong>Favourite quote: </strong>‘You're alive! And, and you are a real boy!’</p>
- Pete Brockman, Outnumbered
Pete and wife, Sue, struggle - daily - to keep their brood of three in order. Most of time Sue, and especially Pete fail miserably, as children Jake, Ben and Karen outwit and run rings around them, leaving you wondering: ‘Who are the grown-ups here?’</p>
- Professor Henry Jones Senior, Indiana Jones films
He might not have the best relationship with son, Henry ‘Indiana’ Jones, but Henry Senior clearly had a big impact on a little Henry growing up, as he follows an identical career path as his dad. Despite huge disagreements and eye rolling, you can tell these two have a real soft spot for each other.</p>
<strong>Favourite quote:</strong> ‘Oh, yeah? And who's gonna come to save you, JUNIOR?’</p>