It never occurred to me that I wouldn’t be able to feed our son during those early months. There were other jobs to keep me busy of course; changing nappies, buying cake, cleaning the house, buying cake, but I couldn’t help feeling a little bit inadequate …
I wanted to feel closer to him but didn’t know how. He was rubbish at playing hide and seek. The pub was out of the question because he couldn’t hold his liquids down, and explaining how all the characters in Game of Thrones are interconnected was pointless. So, I had to tap into something much scarier: my sensitive side!
I told The Wife about my “feelings” and, to help me out, she expressed some milk, which wasn’t much fun for her. After I had fed him, he discarded the bottle like an old banana skin. It just didn’t provide the same experience that breastfeeding did for Mum and baby. I had to find my own way.
All hail the sling! Mum needed a rest, in the sling he went. Cooking, cleaning, soothing him to sleep, sling, sling sling! His little head would pop out of the top and I’d tell him where we were going.
With his amazing blue eyes and my loveable charm, we were a massive hit with the ladies (mostly Nanas) and we’d go everywhere together. I carried soft fruit and water and when we saw Mum again, he got the boob.
Developing that closeness loosened up my insecurities. I found myself doing things I never expected to do. Silly songs about poo, flowers, willies, you name it, I’ve got a lyric. I can sing Five Little Ducks in a variety of accents now, I have even added a new verse with monkeys. I know his expressions, when to calm it down or get him a snack.
I’ve learnt this and more through trial and error. He forgives me quickly when I make a mistake, the same way I forgive him when he smashes a book or a wooden toy into my face for the millionth time.
He’s my son and I’m his Dad and when he’s bigger I’ll tell him all about those of feelings of insecurity so that one day, if he ever becomes a Dad himself, he’ll know it’s okay to be vulnerable. He can bond without boobs too. I might leave out the toy smashing in the face bit though. I don’t want to give all the fun bits away.
By Adam Glennon