1. Let me start by stating that I’m not about to dispense a bunch of helpful advice to people. This is because the very first thing I learned is that earnest, advice-giving parents are basically a pain in the arse… Every kid is different, so any advice is likely to be either useless or inappropriate, and you just need to muddle along doing the best you can.
  2. The next thing is that you soon get used to the smell of poo. The first few solid-food goes had the stomach turning, but now I know to just not breathe too deep, and get the offending article the hell out the way ASAP. We’re lucky enough to be using reusable nappies, so you just scoop the night-soil up in the handy liner thingy and flush that bad boy away before it makes the apartment unliveable.
  3. Feeding kids is probably the most fun ever. The little guy sure does love eating. The other day we were sitting in the bit of Manners Mall they’re not demolishing (and to hell with the rest of it, a haven for stupid emos – and little else), and some crazy people were busy yelling at each other about who-knows-what. But there’s me and Chef Du Plunge, a little island of calm, me feeding him tiny bits of the crust off a bacon and egg pie. He loved it. He kind of opens his mouth as wide as humanly possible and breathes in any and all nibbles that hove into view. We’re about 8 weeks away from Yum Char again… I cannot freaking wait.
  4. Nothing any of the books tell you, books being the best and most reliable assistance round here – even better than grandma – will prepare you for a 12kg 7 -month old who already has half a dozen teeth. Yup, half a dozen, 4 up top, 2 down low. We’re expecting his voice to change at around age 9.
  5. Kids just plain love their dads to bits. There a special place for mum, but having occasion to take Chef Du Plunge out to Te Papa at the weekend and observe a lot of other families? Dads rock! There’s something about the way kids look at them that is heart-warming in the extreme.
  6. Even taking care of one tacker is exhausting. I cannot imagine how tiring a whole bassle of kids must be. I can pretend to be working and have a little sleep at my desk. Housewives though? No such luck. Second Chef was talking to an old friend today, who is the father of NINE children. W.T.F! There’s some big love for you.
  7. Believe it or not, playing boo can be tiresome after awhile. For all concerned.
  8. Book your foetus into childcare as soon as you’re aware of them. We booked Chef Du Plunge in when he was 1 week in utero, and we only got something a week or two ago.
  9. Being a parent makes me understand my own family much, much more. Once upon a time they taught me all the things I’m now teaching, and loved me just as much.
  10. Life is fleeting, dangerous, and a gift. You have to love your kids from the very get-go, because they can be taken by fate at any minute. If you have time, use it to spend with them. In future you won’t remember what it was you could have otherwise being doing, but if the time is lost, you’ll always regret it.