Fantastic Fathers

Welcome to the Fantastic Fathers Segment. Every Wednesday I Interview a Dad about his experiences as a parent and life with children so that we can all read and learn from each other!

For this installment of Fantastic Fathers we have Michael Taylor. Its a great interview so be sure to read!


Michael Taylor, I live in Antrim born and bred, currently and I have been for the last ten years been a Nursing Assistant in Mental Health setting.

JamesyNI: So Michael firstly how many Kids have you got at the moment?

Michael: I currently have a two year old son Isaac and planning to have another one in the near future, so just him at the minute.


JamesyNI: Is being a dad something that you have always wanted to happen?

Michael: Yes I have always wanted a family, not too big just a small family to enjoy time together and see them grow in to adults that can make me a proud father.


JamesyNI: Everyone reacts differently when they are told they are having a child, what was your reaction and how did you feel about it?

Michael: I was over the moon to think that soon I was to be a dad and I can impart my knowledge and give them all the love I have to give and watch my son/daughter grow and know I helped them do that.


JamesyNI: And how did this change when your children were born?

Michael: I found it brought my friends and  family closer, it also had it downsides sleepless nights, the FEAR that you were doing something wrong what cry meant what  Should I call the on call doctor? Why is his cheeks so red? Why is he running a temperature? Am I winding him properly so many things Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! Lol.

JamesyNI: We all have moments where the children just make you laugh, what are some of the funniest moments to happen for you?

Michael: The first time he danced was hilarious, I was flick through the music channels and when a rock tune came on he started to rock his head to the tune. It was also funny when I was watch the football he was transfixed he couldn’t take his eyes of the screen, more watching the ball fly about the pitch rather than taking note of the teams lol.

JamesyNI: Being a dad can have its ups and downs, but what are some of the most rewarding moments you have had as a dad?

Michael: When your son looks into your eyes and snuggles into you just letting you know your doing a good job and everything’s ok, When he starts to mimic your little ways and knows how to cheer you up or completely frustrate you lol.

JamesyNI: We all want our children to have the best future, what are your aspirations for them growing up?

Michael: I want them to be happy and healthy, stay away from trouble and grow up with a good set of friends like I did, to be an individual not get caught up in the worlds craziness and one day have a family of their own.


JamesyNI: Finally, every New and Existing dad can benefit from some advice, are there any words of wisdom you can share with us?

Michael: Don’t blame every crying spell on their teeth they can be monsters at times with no rhythm or reason, discipline from an early age is a good road to follow with every child you have the naughty might or step works wonders, show them love and they will return it ten fold and last but by no means least do not I repeat do not believe everything you read on google your common sense is the best tool you can use.

Michael Taylor

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Andrew Gibson


JamesyNI: So Andrew firstly how many Kids have you got at the moment?

Andrew: 3 kids 2 boys Max and Ben and a Girl Erin who passed away.


JamesyNI: Is being a dad something that you have always wanted to happen?

Andrew: Not always, never really seen myself as the father type.


JamesyNI: Everyone reacts differently when they are told they are having a child, what was your reaction and how did you feel about it?

Andrew: Well it was a shock to be honest it was on my birthday when my wife handed me a tiny pair of Celtic shoes and smiled to me.


JamesyNI: And how did this change when your children were born?

Andrew: Ecstatic best feeling you can ever imagine

JamesyNI: We all have moments where the children just make you laugh, what are some of the funniest moments to happen for you?

Andrew: First time I changed my Son Max’s nappy, as soon as I had the nappy off him he decides to pee soaking me. As for Ben would have been when he first cycled his bike without stabilizers, he was asking for a few days I want to try without them i was very hesitant but as a bribe I got him a new bike for his first dentist appointment and took him to the park he started cycling and just took off laughing his head off when he stopped and I finally caught up with him (Out of breath BTW) he looked at me and laughed and said see I told you I can do it and I am faster than you I could do nothing but laugh.


JamesyNI: Being a dad can have its ups and downs, but what are some of the most rewarding moments you have had as a dad?

Andrew: Seeing my two boys grow become friends with each other. The biggest thing though is seeing how well they are doing in school each week the boys come home with A’s for homework and school work. Both also have won awards in school which makes me so proud.

JamesyNI: We all want our children to have the best future, what are your aspirations for them growing up?

Andrew: To have a better upbringing than I did I will do whatever I can to make them happy and make sure they have everything they want.


JamesyNI: Finally, every New and Existing dad can benefit from some advice, are there any words of wisdom you can share with us?

Andrew: Embrace the change that is about to or did happen there will be a lot of downs but there will be many more up. Don’t double guess yourself your parental instinct is always right if you think something is wrong then act on it you will never be wrong even if it was nothing to worry about in the first place better safe than sorry.

Daddy Poppins

Hi, I’m Benny but I generally go by Daddy Poppins (or Daddy P) these days, ever since I quit my job as an auctioneer in September 2016 to become a stay at home dad to my 2 beautiful (but at times difficult) kids. I write a blog over at www.daddypoppins.com and generally have a laugh and tell dad jokes etc across all social media. Look me up if you need a chuckle or pun. Oh and give me a vote in the boots Maternity and Infant Parenting blogger Award (while your at it )


https://maternityandinfant.secure-platform.com/a/gallery/rounds/106/details/31257


JamesyNI: So Benny firstly how many Kids have you got at the moment?


Benny: I’ve 2 little monsters; the Little Man is 8 and the Boo is nearly 3 (going on 13). There’s no intention to have number 3 as neither of them sleep (Hence the 5 year age gap).


JamesyNI: Is being a dad something that you have always wanted to happen?


Benny: Absolutely, having a happy family and just ‘enjoying life’ is all I’ve ever really wanted. Although I had a lot of fun in my teens and early twenties too 🤣. It’s still fun now but much more low key, ‘partywise’. 


JamesyNI: Everyone reacts differently when they are told they are having a child, what was your reaction and how did you feel about it?


Benny: We’d been trying, if only for a very short time, so I wasn’t shocked when I was told. I started out really excited, then a bit intrepid when I realised that another little persons life would be in my hands and by the end of the pregnancy (just like my wife) I just wanted the child and her to have a safe healthy delivery. 


JamesyNI: And how did this change when your children were born?

Benny: it’s gone from wonder and awe at these amazing little humans we created to wanting to pull my hair out if I hear Baby Shark one more time. (Baa-bee Shark Do doo do do doo do do doo) no need to thank me for the ear worm. 


JamesyNI: We all have moments where the children just make you laugh, what are some of the funniest moments to happen for you?


Benny: They make me laugh every day, from their silly questions and misunderstanding words and phrases to their innocence. 


For example, this happened right before my eyes only yesterday:


https://twitter.com/daddypoppinsblg/status/1027629929809240064?s=21



JamesyNI: Being a dad can have its ups and downs, but what are some of the most rewarding moments you have had as a dad?


Benny: I love when you get an uninitiated hug or ‘I love you’ from one of them during the day.  That really makes my day. 


JamesyNI: We all want our children to have the best future, what are your aspirations for them growing up?


Benny: if I had to pick their careers based on their current personalities I’d say the Little Man will be an artist or YouTube star and the Boo will be ruler of the free world. But honestly, whatever they choose is fine, as long as they are happy and healthy I’d be happy. 


JamesyNI: Finally, every New and Existing dad can benefit from some advice, are there any words of wisdom you can share with us?


Benny: Don’t listen to others advice. That’s my advice. (Ok, by all means listen. Take what others have to say on board but remember no two kids are the same and what works for one mightn’t work for others. Soak up all this knowledge and then trust your gut. We have ‘gut feelings’ for a reason)

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JamesyNI: So Ronan firstly how many Kids have you got at the moment?

Ronan: I have 2 amazing, beautiful daughters aged 4 and 1.  Who are both wonderful and stressful in equal measure lol


JamesyNI: Is being a dad something that you have always wanted to happen?

Ronan: For as long as I can remember, being a Dad has always been the main thing I wanted to achieve in life.  I’ve always seen it as the most rewarding thing in life.


JamesyNI: Everyone reacts differently when they are told they are having a child, what was your reaction and how did you feel about it?

Ronan: Initially I didn’t believe it.  My wife and I had been trying for a while and didn’t think it would ever happen as we both had issues that made it difficult for us to conceive.  She didn’t even tell me she thought she might be pregnant, and done a test first thing in the morning and came to me with the positive test to tell me.  I suppose when you want something so much in life, and with setbacks when it actually happens you can’t quite believe it.  We went through about 8 tests for it to finally sink in lol


JamesyNI: And how did this change when your children were born?

Ronan: I was an absolute emotional wreck, but trying (and failing) to keep it together in the labour room lol They were 2 of the happiest days of my life.  During the labour I felt awkwardly in the way, wherever I stood I was always in the way but the midwives were amazing and also the overwhelming sense of love, pride and astonishment of how my wife had coped with the whole thing all finally got to me and I cried my eyes out both times lol

JamesyNI: We all have moments where the children just make you laugh, what are some of the funniest moments to happen for you?

Ronan: There are so many, from a personal perspective everything from being completely exhausted and finding things being put away in the most random of places like rolls of binbags in the fridge.  When it comes to the funniest things with my eldest girl has to be her 4th birthday party we had at home, and everyone had to dress as their favourite Disney princess and this had to include her Mum and I.  So there I was answering the door to all her friends and parents dressed as Ana from Frozen (but I looked good in that dress lol)

JamesyNI: Being a dad can have its ups and downs, but what are some of the most rewarding moments you have had as a dad?

Ronan: Obviously seeing them crawl, walk, speak and all those wee milestones are such momentous occasions, but the small things like hearing them giggle with laughter, seeing their wee personalities develop and when they start learning to do things from you, or copying you (even though they have no idea what or why they are doing it), just kills me every time.

JamesyNI: We all want our children to have the best future, what are your aspirations for them growing up?

Ronan: Obviously I want my girls to get a good education, have a good career and a stable life surrounded by good friends and family.  I hope they enjoy travelling, experiencing things in life that people dream about and that they follow their dreams and never settle.  As long as they are happy in life that is really what its all about.


JamesyNI: Finally, every New and Existing dad can benefit from some advice, are there any words of wisdom you can share with us?

Ronan: There is no rule book, there is no right or wrong, there is only doing your best.  Many friends have spoken to me during their journey into parenthood, that they were worried they would never be able to manage being a parent according to these books they had been reading.  The only advice I can give is take each day as it comes, deal with each challenge as it arises and don’t stress about things that may never happen.  Tell your children you love them every day, kiss them, hug them and cuddle them as much as possible because before you know it they will be all grown up and out with their friends, make the most of every day, don’t mistake presents for presence all your child needs is love and support, everything else will work itself out.  Oh and never forget that even although your new baby may take up a lot of your time, don’t forget to make time for you (and your partner), being the best parent, doesn’t always mean putting yourself last J

Ronan Gilloway

Darren Beggs

Hi I’m Darren Beggs.

I have worked with homeless men in Ballymena for over 11 years but being a dad is now my passion. I reduced to part-time hours to be at home more.

 I believe the role of a Father is just as important as that of a Mother.

www.instagram.com/bearded_with_boys

JamesyNI: So Darren firstly how many Kids have you got at the moment?

Darren: I have got 2 crazy boys; Ethan who has just turned 5 & Luke who is 2 (3 in November)


JamesyNI: Is being a dad something that you have always wanted to happen?

Darren: Yea, I have always wanted to have kids. Though I used to want about 4 but that was before I had any lol.


JamesyNI: Everyone reacts differently when they are told they are having a child, what was your reaction and how did you feel about it?

Darren: I wasfairlyconfident (maybe cocky) before the pee stick confirmed it. I was delighted & a bit emotional when it was confirmed. I thought having a baby in the house would be easy, especially since my wife is a children’s nurse.Little did I know what was about to happen.


JamesyNI: And how did this change when your children were born?

Darren: After they were born, I was overjoyed and emotional but mainly relieved that mummy and babies were safe… I didn’t enjoy the labour at all. The first few weeks were a sleep deprived, caffeine fuelled blur. My world had been completely turned upside down and all of a sudden, my life revolved around the boys. Being a parent is probably the hardest but most rewarding job ever.

JamesyNI: We all have moments where the children just make you laugh, what are some of the funniest moments to happen for you?

Darren: Everyday my boys make me laugh;from naked drumming to their dad dance moves or the same “I moustache you a question” joke over and over again. There is never a dull moment.

JamesyNI: Being a dad can have its ups and downs, but what are some of the most rewarding moments you have had as a dad?

Darren: As cheesy as this may sound, every time I see their cheeky faces I feel lucky. But the major milestones like taking their 1st steps (which was such a huge thing cause they both never crawled) andhearing their first words, are amazing moments. One of the most memorable times was when I took Ethan to Dublinfor his 4th birthdayto see Liverpool play, which was his 1st football match.Though he was more excited about the Hotel and the free bottle of cherry Pepsi Max he got than the match.

JamesyNI: We all want our children to have the best future, what are your aspirations for them growing up?

Darren: They both have very different personalities, so their careers could be very different, Ethan loves science and how things work, so he may be some sort of engineer. Luke is obsessed with cars, so it will probably involve cars. 

They both have a love of music, so could be musicians but I think they would need to change the name of their band, as I don’t think “The Bare Bum Beggsys” is a sensible band name lol.

I just want them to be confident, have good manners and love what they do.

JamesyNI: Finally, every New and Existing dad can benefit from some advice, are there any words of wisdom you can share with us?

Darren: I think the most important think is to know that there isn’t 1 parenting style that fits all. Every family and baby are completely different, so just find what works for you.

For dads – get stuck in, be as hands on as possible & don’t be put off it you do something stupid, we have all done it.

Be sure to check out Darrens website: beardedwithboys.wordpress.com and follow him on the instagram handle at the top of this post!

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Kieran Kelly

This weeks episode of Fantastic Fathers is my good friend Kieran Kelly from Lifford County Donegal. A chap that I have had the privilege of knowing since I was 11 years old and has recently had a new baby!

JamesyNI: So Kieran, firstly how many Kids have you got at the moment?

Kieran: Two little monsters at present and another one brewing away (due mid july)


JamesyNI: Is being a dad something that you have always wanted to happen?

Kieran: At some point in my life... Happened a little faster than I expected though but I would not change it for the world..


JamesyNI: Everyone reacts differently when they are told they are having a child, what was your reaction and how did you feel about it?

Kieran: Nearly shat myself but was also a little excited


JamesyNI: And how did this change when your children were born?

Kieran: Fear excitement nervous emotional. But ready for the job in hand

JamesyNI: We all have moments where the children just make you laugh, what are some of the funniest moments to happen for you?

Kieran: everyday I get a laugh at them or at my own expense. On the spot now can’t think of a specific moment.

JamesyNI: Being a dad can have its ups and downs, but what are some of the most rewarding moments you have had as a dad?

Kieran: Climbing Mount Errigal with my son at only 3 years old. He loved every second of the climb up and enjoyed the descent even more. And having a feisty little daughter that can only be described as a threenager (if you'd met her you'd understand why)

JamesyNI: We all want our children to have the best future, what are your aspirations for them growing up?

Kieran: To follow their own dreams and pursue whatever they want in life


JamesyNI: Finally, every New and Existing dad can benefit from some advice, are there any words of wisdom you can share with us?

Kieran:  Enjoy it because time does fly.... I had a friend say the same to me years ago and I thought these sleepless nights, teething, colic etc crabit little b***ards but in no time at all years are done and gone

George T Poet aka Trevor McGerrigle

JamesyNI: So Trevor firstly how many Kids have you got at the moment?

Trevor: I’ve got two girls, Maisie (2) and Charlotte (4 months)


JamesyNI: Is being a dad something that you have always wanted to happen?

Trevor: I’ve never envisioned adulthood without having Children! for me it always seemed to be the natural progression from the carefree irresponsibility of teenage years to becoming the ‘Dad’ who washes the car on a Saturday, has a Garden shed and listens to radio 2


JamesyNI: Everyone reacts differently when they are told they are having a child, what was your reaction and how did you feel about it?

Trevor: I was incredibly excited, but I must admit on several occasions I “kacked the toggs” especially when I Nagano to consider things like, food, clothing, cars houses etc etc but I settled down eventually!


JamesyNI: And how did this change when your children were born?

Trevor: It was Crazy, a wirlwind of emotions, when the actually arrive after the final big push it’s completely surreal, your eyes take it in but your brain just can’t process it, a complete miracle to behold, and not unlike a science fiction moment, a little squealing alien

JamesyNI: We all have moments where the children just make you laugh, what are some of the funniest moments to happen for you?

Trevor: Hahaha to be out in a cafe with two young daughters both having major meltdowns and watch all the mothers in the place stare intently until one brave soul comes up and says “excuse me, would you like some help”.. to which I reply “YES pleaseeeee”

JamesyNI: Being a dad can have its ups and downs, but what are some of the most rewarding moments you have had as a dad?

Trevor: Some of the smallest things are the most rewarding, definitely the first smiles are class, but as they get a little older and you know that your such a massive part of their worlds and everything revolves around Mum and Dad it’s really cool! Intense yes... but cool

JamesyNI: We all want our children to have the best future, what are your aspirations for them growing up?

Trevor: I want to see my girls, Happy, Healthy and well balanced individuals! I desire for them to love life and make the most of it! Passion, confidence and at peace with themselves!! That is my vision


JamesyNI: Finally, every New and Existing dad can benefit from some advice, are there any words of wisdom you can share with us?

Trevor: My advice.. Go with the flow, Don’t overthink! Be fun and speak to your kids like little adults, never underestimate their understanding, answer every question they ask with a full response as though it were a incredibly sensible and important question to ask!

Paul Coyle

JamesyNI: So Paul firstly how many Kids have you got at the moment?

Paul:  I have 4 children 2 boys age 17 & 4 and 2 girls 9 & 15.


JamesyNI: Is being a dad something that you have always wanted to happen?

Paul: I always knew I would like to became a father, having come from a large family of 10 children it seemed only natural that it would happen someday, inspired but my own father and everything he did iv always wanted to continue in his footsteps, i grew up surrounded with siblings in a loving home where the door was always opened and Mum was always in the house, it’s only now since I have my own wife and family that I can begin to appreciate what amazing people my mum and dad were keeping everything together. So I’m extremely proud to be a father to 4 fabulous children I I hope I can be an inspiration to them also..


JamesyNI: Everyone reacts differently when they are told they are having a child, what was your reaction and how did you feel about it?

Paul: I was 20 when my first was born so naturally I was very afraid, but i matured quickly and took to parenting and became more responsible quickly. Time flies though that same boy born on 5-5-2000 becomes 18 in 2 weeks time so as a parent time does seem to accelerate, I just wish they all stayed toddlers forever..


JamesyNI: And how did this change when your children were born?

Paul: Again I felt quite apprehensive and afraid, I suppose you never stop worrying about children, but I did and still do feel immensely proud of them all.

JamesyNI: We all have moments where the children just make you laugh, what are some of the funniest moments to happen for you?

Paul: Funny moments Can happen at any time With children, especially toddlers, maybe it’s because I’m Older now And my youngest is 4, But I find even having a conversation with him hilarious, I love doing different thinks with them and we have loads of fun every day..

JamesyNI: Being a dad can have its ups and downs, but what are some of the most rewarding moments you have had as a dad?

Paul: There has been lots of rewarding experiences and even the smallest things can be special, I honestly feel rewarded every day just to have them around me..

JamesyNI: We all want our children to have the best future, what are your aspirations for them growing up?

Paul: I don’t like to put any great pressure on my children and of
Course like any parent I want them to get on in life as comfortable and as hassle free as possible, but mostly I hope that they enjoy and have a happy healthy life and no matter what they do I will always remain proud of them all..


JamesyNI: Finally, every New and Existing dad can benefit from some advice, are there any words of wisdom you can share with us?

Paul: Make the most of the time with your kids, they grow up way to fast, do as much as you can and make memories everyday!!

Marty Cunningham

JamesyNI: So Marty firstly how many Kids have you got at the moment?

Marty: I have 1 child, a beautiful daughter.


JamesyNI: Is being a dad something that you have always wanted to happen?

Marty: I always wanted to be a dad, don’t know why anyone wouldn't want to be as it’s the best feeling ever and it’s a privilege not everyone gets the chance of.


JamesyNI: Everyone reacts differently when they are told they are having a child, what was your reaction and how did you feel about it?

Marty: I had mixed feelings and emotions when I found out I was going to be a dad so happy and delighted at first then worry and stressed because I was  worried was I going to be a good dad could I give my child a happy life. Now I think back and wonder what I was worried about because my child gets what she needs and has a smile on her face every day and is always laughing


JamesyNI: And how did this change when your children were born?

Marty: So happy and delighted that she was fit and healthy.


JamesyNI: We all have moments where the children just make you laugh, what are some of the funniest moments to happen for you?

Marty: There has been so many I couldn't pin point out 1 in particular.


JamesyNI: Being a dad can have its ups and downs, but what are some of the most rewarding moments you have had as a dad?

Marty: Everyday I’m with my daughter seen her happy is my most rewarding experience


JamesyNI: We all want our children to have the best future, what are your aspirations for them growing up?

Marty: I hope and dream for my daughter to have a happy joyful life.


JamesyNI: Finally, every New and Existing dad can benefit from some advice, are there any words of wisdom you can share with us?

Marty: My advice for new dad's is don’t worry just take it 1 day at a time and everything will be ok don’t try to be a dad that you don't feel is right.

Richard McMullan

JamesyNI: So Richard firstly how many Kids have you got at the moment?

Richard: I have 2 kids now


JamesyNI: Is being a dad something that you have always wanted to happen?

Richard: Yeah, at some stage of my life I’ve always wanted to be a dad.


JamesyNI: Everyone reacts differently when they are told they are having a child, what was your reaction and how did you feel about it?

Richard: It was a mixture of a few emotions, surprise, shock and excitement


JamesyNI: And how did this change when your children were born?

Richard: Totally overwhelmed but so proud at the same time. You are given this little tiny person in your arms and from that moment all you feel is so much love for them.

JamesyNI: We all have moments where the children just make you laugh, what are some of the funniest moments to happen for you?

Richard: My youngest kid, Kyle was eating a piece of sausage one day and he just points to the sausage and says “peppa pig” it just made me laugh!

JamesyNI: Being a dad can have its ups and downs, but what are some of the most rewarding moments you have had as a dad?

Richard: Simple little things... being there for the first steps, first words. Seeing them in their first school plays.

JamesyNI: We all want our children to have the best future, what are your aspirations for them growing up?

Richard: To grow up to be the people they want to be... respecting whatever they want to do in life and be there for any guidance that they need if asked


JamesyNI: Finally, every New and Existing dad can benefit from some advice, are there any words of wisdom you can share with us?

Richard: Just enjoy the moment... enjoy the younger years.. they grow up SO fast!

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Oli Poole

It's basically just me, partner Hanna and Albie. I'm a journalist living in Worthing, West Sussex, and Hanna's a special needs teaching assistant. Albie's official role is sick factory (now moving)!

JamesyNI: So Oli, firstly how many kids have you got at the moment?

Oli: Just the one, Albie, who's just over nine months old now. We're just about recovering from staying up all night between us cuddling him to keep him asleep, so thought of doubling duties seems a tad, er, unattractive at the moment! One is the perfect number for now but it's amazing being a dad.


JamesyNI: Is being a dad something that you have always wanted to happen?

Oli: Yes, definitely. My partner and I aren't very traditional and even if we were, we couldn't afford the marriage and the house. We are doing life in reverse. Kids were always on our radar but we decided after much thought that the time was right to have Albie. Next step is the house!


JamesyNI: Everyone reacts differently when they are told they are having a child, what was your

reaction and how did you feel about it?

Oli: I had just returned from a two-day golfing press trip to Norfolk (not quite as fancy as Majorca and Morocco which came before, but still a nice perk of the job!) when Hanna broke the news. When I'd returned from Morocco, she was waiting at the airport with a little balloon. This time, at home was a picture of a stick she'd weed on! It wasn't a shock but things had happened quite quickly. It was initially a reaction of excitement.


JamesyNI: And how did this change when your children were born?

Oli: Since the news was broken, it was a bit of an emotional roller coaster. It was no different when Albie was born. Emotions ranged from joy to stress and utter helplessness, as I tried to work out what on Earth to do! I hadn't been around kids much before, apart from our nephew Henry, now three. It was a steep learning curve. I remember both of us feeling totally alienated on the first day we got home from hospital. The weight of responsibility freaked us out a bit, with no-one there to help. We quickly got over that and now it's nothing but amazing moments to share together, learning as we go. 


JamesyNI: We all have moments where the children just make you laugh, what are some of the

funniest moments to happen for you?

Oli: Albie's just learning to get around but we first noticed this when we left him on his play mat in the lounge for a minute or two one evening. In double-quick time, he had managed to roll across the lounge and begin raiding the McDonald's bag we were about to chuck away. He was nibbling on the scraps when I returned!  

When Mummy tells him off for pulling her hair, he just cracks up. He also likes wriggling down the side of the bed between the mattress and the barrier and he also finds that hilarious. With a refluxy baby, passing him to different people when you're in a group is a fun game of roulette - one of them is going to get spewed on, you just can't tell who! 


JamesyNI: Being a dad can have its ups and downs, but what are some of the most rewarding

moments you have had as a dad?

Oli: Albie was born at 5lb 5oz as he was a month early. He had a milk allergy, too, so getting him to put on weight was really tricky. After a lot of effort, we recently got him to move up his growth chart from the 0.2nd centile to the second centile. After a lot of weeks where we thought we made progress, only to be told he had stayed the same weight, it was a real victory. That's more of a team Mum and Dad effort - but I must have played a fair role in it.

Another high was getting him to sleep in his crib overnight for the first time, a battle some six months in the making. Generally, nothing beats returning home from work to a smiling, cheeky bubba, and it's those little things which are most rewarding. The low point has to be fishing out Albie's first 'bath poo', nicely broken up by splashing limbs!


JamesyNI: We all want our children to have the best future, what are your aspirations for them

growing up?

Oli: Something more lucrative than being a local journalist! The dream would be for Albie to become a professional golf or snooker player. I really pushed for a golfing twang to his name and in the end settled for the middle name 'Rory', after Rory McIlroy. I'm keen not to be that pushy parent, so my advice to him will be to do whatever he enjoys. I happen to have a job I love and it really helps, rather than having something that pulls in the pounds but isn't enjoyable. 


JamesyNI: Finally, every New and Existing dad can benefit from some advice, are there any words

of wisdom you can share with us?

Oli: Don't leave your kid's changing bag on the train! I travelled from home in Worthing to London for my first solo trip with Albie. When I got to my friend's house, I realised I had left the changing bag on the train, including his bottles, clothes (essential for a sicky child), nappies and special prescription milk which he had because he was dairy free. I managed to beg and borrow some essentials from my friend, who had fortunately had a baby at the same time. No luck on the milk, though, so I had to source a similar product from a nearby pharmacy. It cost me £25, a fraction of the value of the changing bag, an angry Mummy told me when I got home. Luckily, the bag turned up in a few days, which saved a few quid. 


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©2018 by JamesyNI.
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