Life as a dad – a year on (with a couple of tips)

The birth of my baby boy a year or so ago changed everything in my life – a cliche phrase tossed around with reckless abandon by fathers the world over, I´m sure.

Anyhow, in this case, it really did. Not only was Tristan´s birth a complicated affair for both his mother and him, it was something that made him a colic baby (defined as a healthy baby who cries for more than 3 hours a day, more than 3 days a week.)

Without going into too many details – my boy´s birth was traumatic but nothing he and his mum didn´t recover fully from almost immediately. His colic meant that he only slept for more hours at a time if we pushed him in his pram or rocked him in his hammock. As as you may imagine, we gained arm muscles and walked the diameter of the earth and back for a good 11 months or so, before he eventually learned to sleep for longer periods, without being rocked.

It was singlehandedly the hardest thing I´ve ever had to conquer – while managing a full-time job (when not on paternity leave) and keeping my training regimes going – cutting down from training 3-4 times a week, to just once but it was all worth it in the end. As a child from a home rocked by my father´s alcoholism and violence (and actually, this is the first time I´ve ever shared this in writing – though most who know me are aware of this unfortunate but very real part of my life) the opportunity to be a dad to a little boy is something I take seriously. And while I know most parents take their responsibilities seriously, sadly there are still too many cases of poor parenting, often marred by excessive drugs and alcohol. This is something I will never respect nor condone – if you´re not ready for children – it´s simple – refrain.

Enough about that for now though – in the spirit of sharing some of the many memories of the last year, here are a few pics of my boy and I out on the road – to inspire all the upcoming parents out there. Walking my boy was always an adventure, whatever the weather – I took it as an opportunity to get out of the house (sometimes for 2 longs walks a day, spanning 1-2.5 hours each ) and as long as I had a good podcast in my ears and clothing to suit the elements, it was fun – meditative even.

Needless to say, my fiancée and I could not have gone the distance without the help of erstwhile equipment – 3 separate prams helped us through it all. One of these is a tank that we use to put our boy to sleep on the balcony or outside, now that he has learned how to sleep without being pushed around. I have no idea what make it is (my mother in-law donated it to us after finding it God knows where) but It´s saved us quite a few miles so we have a soft spot for it.

The other 2, however – things of beauty no less are as follows ( for all you up and coming parents ; )

Cybex Priam: A bit on the pricey end but we´ve never regretted buying this stylish pram. One nifty detail is the brown leather handle, which adds a touch of class to the entire construction. The priam is small and nimble, unlike the tank-like Emma Jungas and similar which barely fit into Copenghagen´s small lobbies let alone public transport. I recommend getting the cot and the lux carry cot with the priam.

For our holidays (and we had many of these to the Danish west coast where our folks live as well as to the Indonesian islands for a month, with a transit in Qatar,) I can recommend the Babyzen Yoyo Stroller. This foldable baby (pun intended) comes in a beautiful case that fits the cabin luggage requirements of all airlines (unless you fly with Ryanair or similar, which I strongly advocate you don´t in anycase.) We found it extremely handy and manoeuvrable – even in the potholed streets of Bali.

And now – those photos, I hope you enjoy them.

The prayer room at Hvidovre hospital, Copenhagen, where Tristan was born,
Springtime in Vestre Cemetery, Copenhagen
The endearing Belvedere Canal, Copenhagen
Autumn, by the beautiful Belvedere Canal, Copenhagen

A morning walk around the lakes in Christianshavn, Copenhagen
Trudging through an underpass in Northern Denmark
A walk in the woods with the family – Northern Denmark
Cruising in The Meatpacking District on a dark winter night
There´s this tunnel close by where we live…
Walking through the former military compound by Christianshavn
Taking the yoyo for a spin in Ryå, Northern Jutland – across what once was a railway bridge over the Ryå stream
There´s something magical about this alley, in the Vestre Cemetery in Copenhagen

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