But there are also moments of acute human embarrassment. Unavoidable, cringe-worthy moments, some of which I was responsible for and others that were fired my way by the dark, cruel gods of parenthood. Without further ado, here are the fatherhood moments that still make me wince.
1. Driving my firstborn home from the maternity unit. Very slowly
Maybe it was the fact that I’d hardly slept in three days that did it. Or perhaps I just wasn’t too sure of how well the man from Halfords had fastened the baby seat. Either way, the speed at which I drove home from the hospital that first day remains a source of amusement for my wife. Of course, there was no more precious cargo than our tiny bundle of joy sleeping soundly in the car seat, mere hours into her time on this earth. But things became farcical when, in a 40mph zone and in clear traffic, I was overtaken by a elderly cyclist.
2. Poo Daddy
I wouldn’t have minded if Martha, then three years old, had shouted out her new nickname for me in front of close relatives. My parents, say. Or my wife’s sister and brother-in-law. That she suddenly decided to point at me and start calling me ‘Poo Daddy!’, before collapsing in a fit of giggles, during a meal attended by a family we’d never met before was awkward, to say the least. ‘Is that what she calls you then?’ the husband asked. I could see from his facial expression that he really wanted to ask, ‘Why?’ There were no socially acceptable answers to either his spoken, or unspoken, questions.
To read the rest of my 10 most embarrassing dad moments, including the list below, just go to Yano.co.uk: http://yano.co.uk/2013/01/my-10-most-embarrassing-dad-moments/
3. Potty training goes wrong. On the high street
4. The boiled man
5. Falling asleep… while my wife was in labour
6. A leak on the activity centre floor
7. Kicking the trolley
8. The Dindy Dondys
9. Insulting my parents’ parenting skills
10. A traumatic landing
Charlie Swinbourne is a freelance journalist, scriptwriter and Dad. Charlie grew up in a deaf family, signing and speaking by equal measure, and went on to feed this into journalism for the Guardian, BBC Online and this website. Charlie has worked in television for Channel 4 and the BBC and has appeared on Radio 4 and BBC Breakfast News. He has also written plays and short films featuring deaf characters, winning an ITV Writers Award in 2007 for his first script, a comedy called ‘Coming Out.’ Charlie has two young daughters and recently swapped city life in London for the countryside of Yorkshire.
The Limping Chicken is the world's most popular Deaf blog, and is edited by Deaf journalist and filmmaker Charlie Swinbourne. Find out how to write for us by clicking here, how to follow us by clicking here, and read our disclaimer here.
The site exists thanks to our supporters. Check them out below:
- Signature: Leading awarding body for BSL qualifications
- Ai-Media: Remote captioning. Find out about 6 awesome accessibility apps!
- Bellman & Symfon: home alerting solutions
- Deaf Umbrella: sign language interpreting and communications support
- Eyewitness Media: TV and film from a Deaf perspective
- Appa: Communication services for Deaf, Deafblind and hard of hearing people
- SignLive: Online video interpreting for Deaf people
- SignVideo: Instant BSL video interpreting online
- 121 Captions: captioning and speech-to-text services
- The National Theatre: Captioned and BSL accessible theatre in London
- Doncaster School for the Deaf: education for Deaf children
- Signworld: Learn BSL online!
- Action Deafness Communications: sign language and Red Dot online video interpreting
- BSLcourses.co.uk: Provider of online BSL courses
- Association of Notetaking Professionals: The professional body representing Electronic and Manual Notetakers
- Sign Solutions: communication support, training and translation
- InterpretersLive: On demand BSL video interpretation
- Hamilton Lodge School in Brighton: education for Deaf children
- Lipspeaker UK: specialist lipspeaking support
- Ozen: Australian hearing aid specialists
- Elmfield School, Bristol: Inclusive education for Deaf pupils
- deafPLUS: BSL advice helpline
- Exeter Deaf Academy: education for Deaf children
- Royal Shakespeare Company: Captioned and BSL interpreted performances (see dates here)
- Royal School for the Deaf, Derby: Residential education for deaf children
- RAD Tax Advice: Tax and Tax Credit info for Deaf people
- Performance Interpreting: BSL interpreting at concerts
- National Deaf Children's Society: The leading charity for deaf children
- Signed Culture: Advocating for BSL access to arts and culture
- SignHealth: healthcare charity for Deaf people
- CJ Interpreting: communication support in BSL
- British Society for Mental Health and Deafness: Promoting positive mental health for deaf people