The power of a smile…

23 04 2012

As much as I love having a newborn, at times it can be very frustrating.

I want some interaction.

A sign that he knows who I am.

A hint of awareness.

A conversation would be great.

But I must lay to rest my impatience.

Before I know it, JJ will be asking for £20 because he’s off to the local with the lads, and no, don’t wait up.

So enjoy the moment.

It doesn’t last long.

Keeping that in mind I found myself sitting on the edge of my bed with JJ in the Moses basket next to me.


Muslin at hand.

Lost in the moment.

Feeling tired and weary on a Sunday night at the prospect of leaving him for a week.

I’m sure he picked up on this as he stopped wriggling to turn his head and look directly into my eyes.

I was ready to dart in with a muslin before he redecorated his clothes and bed.

And then it happened.


A smile broke out across his face.

His little dimples turning the cute factor up to 11.

It lasted forever.

About four seconds to be precise.

I broke out in a reflective smile as my heart melted.

JJ’s first smile without a follow-up of wind, sick or crying.

I’ll treasure that precious moment for the rest of my life.

I bet a baby’s smile could be used to spread general happiness.

A couple arguing?

Show them a smiling baby.

Riots kicking off?

Send in smiling babies on horseback.

National unrest?

Broadcast a smiling baby on the news.

Next time you’re feeling down, watch a video of a baby smile.

And try to resist the power of a smile.

Smile! It's not JJ but you get the idea.



Back to school…

16 04 2012

Remember being at junior school and getting to the final year and feeling like the big kid?

Then all of a sudden life changed dramatically when you started secondary school.

You became the small fry.

The object of laughs and ridicule from the older more experienced kids.

All your clothes and kit were shiny and new, unlike the more dishevelled and worn in look sported by others around you.

Suddenly everything you had learnt flew out of the window when faced with a whole new school and way of getting through the day-to-day.

That’s kind of how I feel right now being the new parent on the block.

I had a reasonable amount of control.

I knew what I was doing.

I could do what I wanted, when I wanted.

And that all vanished in the blink of an eye with the arrival of JJ.

I’m now surrounded by new clothes, new toys, new pram, new cot, new bed etc.

All the gear, no idea.

I guess with every day, week, month and year you progress through parent school.

Learning the tricks of the trade.

Avoiding that arc of wee.

Dodging the exploding backside.

Mastering the art cleaning a back covered in what looks like runny peanut butter before the baby starts to cry.

Understanding the true meaning of multi-tasking.

Sleep feeding.

And so on.

The other big kids I’m sure still laugh and ridicule behind my back as they see me struggling, mouth agape as I take everything in (closing it quickly before that arc of wee reaches me).

So hopefully one day I’ll be able to stand alongside other parents, relaxed in knowing I have things back under control.

Just as I hear the words “Dad, I think I’ve got my girlfriend pregnant, what should I do?”

A new term has begun.

Welcome to the university of life.

Previously on Joshua James…

2 04 2012

Little Pea became Joshua James.

Abi and Paul became Mummy and Daddy.

Daddy became the walking dead.

After a couple of days in hospital while Abi recovered from her section, I drove my new family home at probably the slowest I’d ever driven in my life.

We were home.

Tired, but very, very happy with a side of OMG.

We had to pop back in the next day to see the pediatrician for some initial checks.

The pediatrician commented that JJ looked too jaundice and wanted to look into it further.

Long story short, he was submitted into the Special Baby Care Unit (the children’s ward was full).

JJ’s Bilirubin levels were higher than average falling into a medium to high category.

The cure?

Topping up his tan

Joshua spent three days  in the unit with a lot of time under two UV lamps (with his little goggles of course) and was put on a strict feeding routine.

Fortunately for us Abi and I stayed on the ward with him as there were three bedrooms and one was free.

It’s an incredibly emotional sight when you see your baby like that but I could not grumble too much when I saw other babies on the ward in a lot more fragile state.

Once his levels started dropping the UV light was reduced to one, then none and he was eventually allowed to stay in our room.

The Brucie-bonus was that I spent a lot of time with some amazing midwives.

I learnt a lot about the basics such as nappy changing, winding, feeding, cleaning and so on.

Eventually we had the news that he was to be discharged and we could go home.

Two very happy parents again.

And Joshua?

"I'm a-ok thanks!"