Dave Moore: Why I'm glad I'm a dad in 2017! 6 years ago

Dave Moore: Why I'm glad I'm a dad in 2017!

I’m glad I’m a parent in 2017!

Things can be mad in a house with two adults, four kids and an escape artist dog. It makes you wonder, sometimes, about how life was before the kids arrived. But what if you cast your mind back a bit further? What about when we were kids? Were things better for our parents in the 70s and 80s? I’m not so sure. Let me illustrate a few examples that will make us all a bit more grateful to be parents in 2017.

1. Photos & Videos

Some parents were good at taking photos. Even in the mid-70s, when I was born, my parents took the time and effort to snap and print plenty of photos of me. And they put them in an actual album so you could look at them again! But I know that's rare, and most people my age only begin to exist, photographically speaking, from the first day of school. There is probably a bowl-haircut communion pic or a poodle-haired confirmation shot, but that's it. And as for video, forget it. Now, we have 1080p, smile-tracking, facial-recognition HD video of every burp, step and tumble. Sure, 90% of them sit on phones and hard drives but they're there. They exist. Our kids will likely be better at file management than we are and will be able to watch themselves grow up in a much clearer way than most of us did.

2. Car Safety

Sure, it's a pain, making sure each kid is strapped into their respectively sized and inordinately expensive car seat. And then there's having to buy a spare seat for the odd time when there's a play date, and you need to run that kid home, even though you said you'd keep him till 4 and it's only 3:30, because you just can't look at someone else's kid's snotty face for one more minute! Anyway, as much hassle as the car seats are, at least we have them. Remember the 70s and 80s? Sure, an entire Under 9 hurling team would fit in the back of a Ford Escort! And their bags! Journeys to see the relatives in another county were filled with "whose turn is it to stand up in the middle of the front seats and distract the parents while the other two play I spy?" I spy, with my little eye, something beginning with MASSIVE NEED FOR LEGISLATION IN RELATION TO RESTRAINING CHILDREN IN CARS BECAUSE HOW ARE WE ALL STILL ALIVE?!?

I remember driving to the beach in my mam's friend's car on a particularly hot summer's day. We only lived about a two-minute drive away, so we all piled in; three of us, four of hers and two of the neighbours' kids. Nine kids in the back, two mothers in the front. We went around a corner, the door of the Renault 20 opened, and one of the girls just fell out. A shout came from the front of the car to "close the bloody door back there!" so we did. It wasn't until there was the obligatory head count at the beach that the mothers realised one was missing. Panic! We all pile back in. We retrace our journey, and there she is, sitting in the road where she had been unceremoniously ejected from the car, picking at the tar that had become soft in the sun. Bloody hell. Give me five-point harnesses and NCAP ratings any day of the week.

3. Cartoons

I still don't know how our parents did it. Books, toys, board games, even basic computer systems hooked up to the one and only TV set. They were all around but, lads, cartoons were only on once a week. On a Saturday morning. Let that sentence ring out in your ears again. ONCE. A. WEEK. Think about it... No Disney Junior. No Cartoonito. No Boomerang. No Baby TV. No catch-up service for when they've managed to miss eight seconds of the new Sofia The First episode. No Netflix.


Just two hours of cartoons on a Saturday morning from 7-9 before Grandstand came on to cover the amateur steeple chase from Sheffield or something. Jaypers.

4. Holidays

"Caleb is nearly 20 months, so we figured it was time he experienced Asia. We're starting in Goa and working our way around to Indonesia. Travel is just so good for his cultural development, you know?"

Nowadays, kids are seasoned travellers by the time they start school, and that is an amazing thing. The Costa del Sol, the Algarve, giant holiday camps across France and, perhaps even a trans-Atlantic flight or two are fairly commonplace and, hopefully, this first-hand exposure to a wider variety of countries and cultures will greatly benefit the next generation.

We got exposed to other cultures too, I suppose. Like, I kissed a girl from Galway in a Mini, with tea towels blocking out the windows so her mother wouldn't see us. That was pretty cultural for a Jackeen from North County Dublin. Our childhood holidays had no Fuengirolas or Corfus or Vanuatus. We had Mosney. Or Tramore. Or Clara Lara. Or a mobile home in Skerries. Or Lahinch. The glamour! The excitement! Now, these places ARE beautiful and charming, don't get me wrong, but playing spin-the-bottle outside the junior disco with a package of Tayto and a tin of mineral isn't quite the same as a foam party on Roman Abramovich's yacht in Puerto Banus for Taylor Swift's album launch or whatever it is kids get up to these days.

Nope. I’ll take being a Dad today, thanks very much.

I am David Zachary John Moore. I am married to Tracy (who used to be Velcro Girl on 2Phat). We have four kids. We have a dog called Lorna, a lurcher we rescued in 2005. She can leap a 9-foot wall in one go. I am tired.