A dad is born
With the birth of his daughters, Marlon finds his inner mother.
(Getty Images)

Wheeling Hannah, minutes after her birth, from the delivery room to the incubator, the trolley bounced down upon the slightest ridge between the floors of the two rooms. It was such a slight jolt, but Hannah responded by opening her eyes wide in recognition of the jolt. I was astounded,how could this new born creature’s senses already be so developed? The eyes looked right at me, accusingly even… The man and father in me rose to the occasion automatically and I flicked a disapproving look at the nurse who was pushing the trolley.

I remember well at the time of Hannah’s birth, that there was no doubt in my mind whatsoever that I would give up my life to protect her. It’s not really a situation you sit around analysing to death, you just know it instinctively.

The next morning, after the birth, a young couple came into the ward while I was lying on the bed with Hannah.

The dad was holding a little baby in his arms, mom was being wheeled in on a trolley. Dad looked my way and his face was utterly and completely shell-shocked. He smiled a vacant “oh sh*t, what now?” kind of smile at me. I nodded back, as if to say “don’t worry boet, you’ll know what to do.”

And so it was… I gave Hannah her first bath. Do you have any idea how difficult it is to get that sticky white stuff off? And at the same time you have to make sure the baby’s head does not fall off, and that the water isn’t too hot or too cold, and, and, and…

Today, having had Hannah to myself since she could walk, and my second daughter from 3 months, I have survived the sleepless nights, the constant feeds, the nappies, the rashes, the crying for no reason, the high temperature scares at 2am, and all the wonderful joys of fatherhood which traditionally have been the domain of motherhood.

We men are practical creatures. 1 plus 2 equals 3 and so on. I believe that you can give most men a set of instructions and with those, they can accomplish the job at hand. And so it was for me and my babies. Thank goodness for the internet and all the info available these days. There really is no excuse for being a good mother these days, even if you do have a pair of balls.

Marlon Abrahams is a 40-something-year-old single dad, raising two young daughters, Hannah (8) and Maddison (3). He has played an active role in their lives from birth and regards himself as the ultimate “hands-on” dad, spending as much time with his daughters as their mothers do.

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