Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Having a Baby Will Change My Life? Never; LAD DAD

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Having a Baby Will Change My Life? Never; LAD DAD

Article excerpt


BEFORE Sasha was born, I was told repeatedly by other fathers that having a baby would completely change my life. It was the end of one chapter and the beginning of the next.

Nothing would ever be the same again.

What they really meant, of course, was that my life would turn to shit.

For the first six weeks of Sasha's life, I was in denial about this. I still spent an hour in the bath every morning, I still went out three nights a week and I still didn't get up until 10.30am.

It may have ruined your life, I thought, but mine's just as good as it's always been.

This illusion was shattered last weekend when my wife and I took the baby to a house party in Scotland. I've been going to this same house party every September for the past five years and I was damned if the presence of a mewling infant was going to stop me going this year. We'd simply have to take Sasha with us.

I had no idea what a logistical nightmare it is travelling with a newborn.

The effort involved in transporting 17,000 British troops to the Gulf is nothing compared with getting a 10lb baby to Scotland. I've seen supermodels with less luggage than Sasha. In order to get to Heathrow we had to hire a minicab with one of those special pods on the roof that are usually reserved for ski equipment.

Once we actually got on the plane, our real problems began. I don't think I've ever seen such a crestfallen expression as that worn by the man who had to get out of his seat so Caroline and I could squeeze past him clutching the baby. By some miracle, she wasn't actually crying at the time, but he knew it was only a matter of time.

The sight of a mother carrying a newborn on a plane is only marginally less horrifying than an Arab carrying a ticking briefcase.

According to the book What to ExpectThe First Year, you're supposed to feed babies during takeoff and landing to help them adjust to the change in air pressure. …

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