Here at Chats with Moms and Dads, not everyone is a newbie at parenthood like me or most of the other featured moms and dads and our August Chat with a Dad is definitely not one! Pecora Nera as he calls himself is one of my favourite bloggers. He mostly writes about life as an expat in Italy married to his lovely Italian wife known in the blogosphere as Mrs. Sensible. His blog entries will make you laugh so without much further ado, I hand you over to Pecora Nera, an English man in Italy and also a proud father of three.
Thank you so much, for inviting onto your blog, my little ones are now all grown up. In fact my son now has a little one of his own.
Tell us something about yourself and your little one(s).
My little ones are all taller than me, maybe I am still a bit taller than Lucy. I live in Italy and they live in the UK. Either I fly to the UK or they fly out here to see me. Sometimes we pick a city in Europe and fly there to meet. Last year Sarah and I met in Bratislava for a weekend and by pure chance there was a beer festival on. My children are all very different from each other, Lucy is a teacher, Richard manages a shop and Sarah has just joined the army. I pity anyone who starts shooting at her.
What was your little one(s) birth story(ies) like?
In 1988, I spent New Years Eve hurtling up West Street in the back of an ambulance while, Beverley (Ex wife) shouted its coming, its coming. I wasn’t sure if she meant the New Year or the baby. In the end the New Year arrived on time and Richard arrived on the 25th of January. We even managed to squeeze two more frantic races to the hospital before he put in an appearance.
I was told, when a baby is born, it will copy you; at the birth of each of my children, as soon as I was holding the baby I poked my tongue out twice, remarkably they all copied me by poking their tongue out twice.
What you wish you knew about being a dad before becoming one?
What do I wish I knew before becoming a dad? It’s a difficult question. If I knew all the problems I was too face in life, I might have decided, the time was never right to have any children at all. So for me, blind ignorance was best.
I have a great dad, so I tried to teach, nurture and discipline my children the same way he treat me. I didn’t always succeed.
How do you manage your time between work and fatherhood?
My little ones are all adults now, and we live in separate countries, I try to fly to the UK every 2 months to meet up and go for a curry and a beer. I also fly to the UK for business, so I manage to drop in on my children and grab a couple of extra days with them. I will be in the UK next month to watch my daughters passing out parade.
How do you manage to arrange child-free time with your wife/partner? Do you have date-nights?
I remarried eight years ago, and Mrs Sensible and I don’t have any children, so this isn’t applicable to me. When we are child free we go out and eat pizza, which are most days…
Any favourite anecdote about your little one(s)?
I gave Sarah the nickname Grub Grub. She was always digging and grubbing around in the garden; she would dig little holes with bits of sticks. I could shout Grub Grub, and she would come running.
One Saturday morning we were sat in my bed looking at a gardening book.
What’s that daddy? A butterfly, do you like the colour?
Yes, what’s that? A snail, it has its house on its back.
What’s that? A grub.
Sarah looked at the grub, looked back at me, closed the book and went back to her bedroom. The next day at a video shop a young woman said to me, “your daughter is very cute” Sarah gave the woman a hard look and said “ I no cute, I Sarah Grey!!! There was no way she was ever going to be called anything, but Sarah, and defiantly not Grub Grub.
What is it about fatherhood you love?
I loved watching them grow and become independent, the unconditional love they give, the pure joy when they succeed at a difficult task.
If there’s anything about fatherhood you dislike about, what would it be?
Living so far from them, and realising I should have spent more time playing with them.
If you were given a chance to be a stay-at-home-dad, would you take it?
Oh yes, with both hands.
Best advice you’ve ever received about fatherhood/parenthood?
Don’t get angry with them, remember your childhood, you were the same.
If you could give yourself advice about being a father before becoming one, what would it be?
Remember to always love them, breath before you shout, and finally the time you have together is fleeting, make every minute count.
Thank you so much Pecora Nera!
Do visit his blog for some laughter and Italian lessons 😉