British humour columnist, Neil Humphreys, is back with a book which takes a slightly different course as compared to his previous ones, Notes From an Even Smaller Island, Scribbles from the Same Island and Final Notes from a Great Island.
Currently based in Melbourne, Singapore’s favourite (and most well-known) expat was down recently, to promote his book, ’Be My Baby – On The Road to Fatherhood’.
Be My Baby – On the Road to Fatherhood
What’s Neil Humphreys dabbling in now, you ask? Well his latest book is based on a diary he kept during the nine months his wife, Tracy, was expecting their baby. That’s right folks. Our Neil became a proud papa last June with the arrival of Abbie Rose Humphreys. “It’s a honest book about a clueless man trying to find some answers. It certainly doesn’t have all the answers of parenthood but there might be certain answers” chuckles Neil.
To Neil, parenthood is a wonderful mystery of discovery and he sees his wife and himself as two young people who are willing to learn and admit their mistakes. Like any father, he takes pride in his little one’s first smile, first burp, and first diaper change and so on. If you thought Neil isn’t sentimental enough for fatherhood, check this out. “When Abbie Rose threw up a little on me, I almost wanted to cut out the patch of vomit on my shirt and have it framed up,” he confesses.
Neil turns a serious side when he gravely says he has never wanted anything more than fatherhood. As his father was not around and he grew up surrounded by women, to him fatherhood is just the most blissful and wonderful thing a person can receive, even though he was paranoid about it initially. He is also glad that the world is sitting up and taking notice of fathers today and their importance of the role which surpasses the stereotypical role of being just a breadwinner.
How has fatherhood changed Neil Humphreys?
He has a deeper respect for his wife. If you’re wondering if Neil’s on the quest for another baby, well his reply was, ‘You can’t create perfection twice”. However, that certainly does not seal any option for not having a baby in the future. He does see Abbie Rose having a sibling in the future and at some point will also consider adopting.
Neil’s advice to dads
Do not be afraid to ask questions, Dads! Reading ‘textbook literature’ on fatherhood will put Dads in a spot as they’re filled with too many ‘don’t do this’s and not enough ‘do’s. Experience is a teacher in its own right. Take it from Neil. He was a bag of nerves before Abbie Rose’s arrival and plunged into as much reading as he could about fatherhood. The outcome? He was too afraid to hold his own baby and he even had a recurring dream of dropping her, which was his subconscious level dropping into a zone of the unknown. But he got over his fears and today proudly hugs her and burps her.
‘Be My Baby’ is not just for parents or parents-to-be. It’s for everyone (as long as you came out of a parent!) Know what your parents went through and prepare yourself for the future! Well I don’t know about you, but I’m just kicking myself for not already owning a copy of this!
Be My Baby by Neil Humphreys ($18.50 before GST) is available at major bookstores.