It has been exactly a year since I launched What’s a Daddy For? It seems a fitting time to reflect on the past 12 months in the life of the world’s least likely blogger……
AUGUST: As the blog gains a small but devoted following it becomes clear I can no longer be described as merely a socially awkward, reclusive middle-aged daddy. Now I’m a socially awkward, reclusive middle-aged daddy who blogs.
SEPTEMBER: My son starts school, providing a rich source of new material. The long struggle to find healthy snacks to put in his lunchbox begins. With my boy working hard in the P1 classroom I can finally watch He-Man in peace.
OCTOBER: My first experiences with trolls occur after I blog about mental health issues. Unwisely I decide to engage. I ask one anonymous critic why he keeps sending me abusive messages when he’s never met me and knows nothing about me. ‘Because you’re a fucking arsehole!’ he quickly responds.
NOVEMBER: By now I find myself in demand on radio as a commentator on parenting and social issues. My newly found sense of self-importance is quickly punctured when I stroll into the Evening Extra studio and Seamus McKee asks me to bring him a cup of milky tea and two Fig Rolls.
DECEMBER: The joy of Christmas is largely wiped out when the three of us are laid low with flu over the holiday period. I have to bite my lip when my wee man says: ‘Daddy, Santa got me lots of toys but you got me nothing. Santa must love me more than you do.’
JANUARY: My first and only attempt at attending a bloggers’ networking event starts badly when I’m asked at the door for my Instagram handle and I answer that I’ll have to phone my wife. My verbal presentation ‘Apostrophes – Your New Best Friend’ is poorly received.
FEBRUARY: Penury forces me into the position of having to look for work. I make a mental note to try to use the the word ‘penury’ more often in conversation.
MARCH: My wife begins a new job working for UTV. I’m confronted by a very excited woman in our local corner shop, ‘Your missus is on the telly!’ she breathlessly exclaims. As I nod my assent she continues, ‘I don’t know how she does it, if I had to do that I’d shite myself!’
APRIL: My hopes of a major publishing deal are dashed when my debut book ‘1001 States of Depression To Experience Before You Die’ is rejected.
MAY: I endure a prolonged period of writer’s block and creative drought. What’s a Daddy For? blog enjoys it’s most successful month yet, with record numbers of visitors and views.
JUNE: Family emergency as my son is rushed to hospital with breathing problems. At one point, lying helplessly on the hospital bed, he peels off his oxygen mask and says ‘I suppose you’ll be writing about this then daddy?’
JULY: Family holiday in the sun. Three hours in a plane to discover it’s actually colder than the weather back home. Every mosquito on the Adriatic coast feasts on my blood, leading to a series of grotesque elephantine swellings on various parts of my body. At the airport on the way home the man in passport control glances at me, then at my passport photo, then back at me again. His eyes betray both suspicion and pity.
Looking forward to another 12 months of blogging……