Who's The Daddy: New book is a diary from the frontline of parenting

Once upon a time this column was funny, edgy and relevant - primarily between October 2006 and December 2007. And those very first columns from back in the day make up a book which is out now on Amazon Kindle.

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That phrase you hear, the days are long but the years are short, is so true. Reading them again, when daughters #1 and #2 were six and four (they’re now 24 and 22 tomorrow. Happy birthday, but how the hell did that happen?) literally makes you wonder where all that time went.

They read like a diary now, a diary written from the frontline of parenting, weekly dispatches from someone who really didn’t know what they were doing but who was just trying to get to the end of every day without messing things up too much. Like every single one of us.

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Without wishing to blow my own trumpet too hard, the devil’s in the detail. Raising little kids is hard. And funny. And terrifying. And exhausting. And it’s the best job in the world and the greatest thing you’ll ever do.

Read Who's The Daddy's new book, a diary of his years of parenting.Read Who's The Daddy's new book, a diary of his years of parenting.
Read Who's The Daddy's new book, a diary of his years of parenting.

Put it this way, it’s probably the only thing you’ll be remembered for because your job couldn’t give two hoots about you and you’ll be forgotten five minutes after you walk out the door for the last time. On the other hand, your kids will never forget you, one way or the other, and they’re the ones who’ll be picking out your care home. Just so you know.

Editing the book was like my life flashing before my eyes. But the colours seemed brighter back then, the air sweeter and the music louder. Daughter #1 was instrumental in its production and I literally couldn’t have done it without her.

And a few times she said, “Oh my God, was I really like this?”, such as the unfortunate incident with the defaced Girl’s World and the ensuing masterclass in b*****king delivered in a whisper by the boss, and later on the incendiary act of scribbling the word “Blah” 124 times on a sheet of A4 and waving it under her mum’s nose during a telling off - aged seven. Still, ended up with a first in law from Liverpool University, so who am I to argue?

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It’s a recurring theme of the book that the boss is the brains of the outfit and yours truly is just along for the ride, literally taking notes. It’s hard to believe that an actual idiot like me who can barely function in the real world has had a hand in raising two remarkable young women to adulthood.

Because that’s always been the aim. The boss wanted strong and independent girls. But be careful what you wish for. Daughter #1 backpacked around South America with a mate a few weeks after her 19th birthday and daughter #2 left home at 16 to go to LIPA Sixth Form in Liverpool, graduates in a couple of months before working on a cruise ship floating around the Caribbean for six months. I’m still not sure if that means we did a good job or a bad one.

How did we do it? Well you’ll have to buy the book to find out. But the clue’s in the title - The Manual: How To Raise Children To Adulthood While Making It Up As You Go Along. Because that’s all we do. Steer the ship as best we can and hope the mop flops our way.

The Manual: How To Raise Children To Adulthood While Making It Up As You Go Along is out now on Amazon Kindle. £1.99.

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