After all, bringing up a child is like running a small business. There is the constant thinking, thinking, thinking, planning, planning, planning and putting EVERYTHING together. And for Ash, I jumped at every opportunity to be close to him - changing diapers, bathing, playing, lulling him to sleep. Whatever it was, I would do it. Even making stupid faces and sounds that I never dreamed I would be doing before the monkies came along.
So by the time my second and third kids popped into our lives, I was like, "Oh been there, done that." Not to the point of being complacent mind you, but rather I found that my parenting style has evolved with the addition of more little lives into my family.
When I only had Ash, I did everything by the book - sterilised everything religiously, waited exactly six months before I fed him solids, and stressing myself over the delayed appearance of his first tooth. With Ayd and Ale, I was more of "Oh, teeth? They’ll get them eventually" and "Solids? I guess getting them started earlier at five months can't hurt".
The thing is - my world does not revolve around my monkies, and in this busy world of ours, we parents only have time to focus on what is truly important. I want to spend as much time hugging and playing with them, rather than spend time worrying about the things I have to do.
But that is not to say I do not acknowledge all the help that the books, magazines, online sites and even the hospital my monkies were born had provided me. I do, and I am forever thankful for that. And because being a first-time father can be nerve-wrecking business, Thomson Medical Centre and Nestlé NAN GRO 3 will be organising Daddy’s Boot Camp - a 2-day roadshow at Compass Point over the 2-3 August 2014 weekend.
Whether you are a first-time Dad, or a newly-minted one who is in need of some pointers on caring for your baby, come down and find out more about Weaning , Tui-Na for baby, and Dental care. In addition, Mrs Wong Boh Boi, Assistant Director (Clinical) and Senior ParentCraft Lactation Consultant of Thomson ParentCraft Centre, will be on-site to give parents tips on Paediatric Massage for Toddlers & Infants. Mediacorp artiste, Evelyn Tan will also be present to share her parenting experiences and how she juggles the challenges of family life with her hubby and four kids.
Or if you (and your baby) are up for a challenge, you can also take part in the Daddy Diaper Challenge, Baby and Daddy lookalike contest and Toddler Crawling Challenger! It will definitely be a fun-packed carnival-like atmosphere at Daddy's Boot Camp, with enough activities like a Big Bobby Car Race and a mini-kids Gym to keep all kids happy and busy. What's more, the first 300 visitors receive a FREE goodie bag too!
But at the end of the day and after all the fun, it comes down to this - involvement.
If you have been following our Cheekiemonkies Facebook page, you would most probably have seen this status update of mine:
I asked the boys on 2 separate occasions, "What do you want to be when you grow up?"
Ash: A father.
Ayd: I want to be just like you, a father!
I totally never expected them to echo the same answer! I would like to think all my effort in spending time with them had rubbed off in a positive way.
So my advice to new Dads is this:
Put everything into practice. Feed more meals. Bathe them more. Change more diapers. Play with them more. Listen more. The rewards will be immense.
And maybe, just maybe, this whole Fatherhood business might just get easier.
Dates: 2 & 3 August 2014 (Sat & Sun)
Time: 10.30am to 9pm
Venue: Compass Point (Next to Sengkang MRT)
Admission is FREE