∇ Tell us about your family
My wife Nelia and I are the proud parents of two lovely daughters. Maria, is the 3 week old human one and Lulu, our eldest, is a 2 year old miniature dachshund. I’m outnumbered in the gender department!
∇ So you recently became a dad – describe the feeling in five words:
Proud, Humbled, Exhilarated, Confused and Exhausted are the most common feelings at the moment.
∇ What was the most surprising thing about becoming a dad? What did you expect and what was a surprise?
I usually expect the worst, so I would say I’m pleasantly surprised that everything is going quite normally. In this instance normal is the best you can ask for, I guess?
∇ People have incredibly high expectations for new parents – how did you prepare?
Hahaha! I watched a YouTube video of a birth and a video demonstrating baby CPR. Not much else really. I took the advice of the nurses and doctors. They are the professionals. Every situation is different. And so I think it’s best to handle the problems as they arise and not stress too much about handling a situation perfectly. Even the medical profession is called a practice. I don’t trust people who claim to have all the answers. We are blessed to have a strong family support system with lots of combined experience in the art of bringing up our baby, so I’m good.
∇ Your baby girl is gorgeous – tell us about her name?
Thank you! Her name is Maria. We kept it in the family. It’s my Mother-in-law’s name
∇ How did your everyday life change?
Well there’s a natural four hour cycle that Maria’s in and it’s not gonna change for a while. That obviously affects someone like me who never had a routine.
∇ What scares you?
∇ Any tips for new dads? How do you keep it together?
There’s only so much you can do and I think that can be frustrating, so be prepared to step away. I think most of the time it’s actually more about supporting mom, than baby. Don’t try to argue logically. Don’t have preconceived notions. Keep an open mind. Take time off to spend with your family.
∇ Can you recommend nice books to read for dads to prepare them for the journey?
Nope! I have some here for when she’s older. But I haven’t read any of them…
∇ Let’s chat music – which three albums would you like to play for your kiddo first?
Paul Simon’s Graceland. I grew up with it and I love it. It’s never gotten old and I think it’s got a lekker groove, amazing lyrics and pop hooks all over the place. I can think of no better album to start her off with. Bob Marley’s Legend. I mean… C’mon. Get her in a good vibe for life. And then for some variety I’d maybe play her the Guardians of the Galaxy Soundtrack. Harry Nilsson’s Coconut, Blue Swede’s Hooked On A Feeling, Rupert Holmes’ Piña Coloda song. It’s a surefire feel-good winner.
∇ What is your favourite thing about her so far?
When she’s sleeping at night just after she’s had a bath and she’s all swaddled up. With the Miffy night-light on it’s lowest setting. She looks so cozy! It feels wholesome and safe. It’s a trip living vicariously through her for those few seconds.
∇ If Maria could speak – what would she say about you?
The big hairy one’s tummy-naps are the best!
∇ In what way would you say, is the father’s experience different than the mother’s?
In every single way imaginable. Conception. Pregnancy. Labour. Breast-Feeding. No comparison, really.
∇ If you could introduce Maria to five famous people now – who would you choose and why?
Weird one… Now? I would have to pick people with the best sound and textures… so…
James Earl Jones – That voice! Sound and texture. Get him to record a lullaby for her. And then she’s met Darth Vader and Mufasa.
Snoop Dogg is pretty smooth. Also get him to record a lullaby for her. She can play with the beads in his braids.
This guy! – Dogs are people too, right?
And then Neil Gaiman, because I’m a fan and maybe he can get her used to the texture of a real book!