Let’s face it… on the surface, football and fatherhood don’t have loads in common. Nothing has much in common with parenting really. But then again, I do see some very relatable moments from time to time. 

With a 4 year old and another on the way very soon, I felt it was time to lay down Dad F.C’s A to Z for the first few years of fatherhood. Enjoy!

A to Z blocks

Away goals rule: when I let the little one stay up late on a holiday (as if they’ll wake later in the morning)!

Between the sticks: the baby is in the cot.

Caught in possession: when my baby fills her nappy whilst in my arms.

Danger zone: that time between the bedtime story finishing and lights out. Also know as squeaky bum time.

Extra time: when the little one strings out bedtime.

Fair play rule: when the baby falls asleep downstairs before bedtime but I take them up to bed anyway.

Give and go: when one of us hands over the baby as soon as the other comes in the door… and then disappears.

Hat trick: converting 3 set pieces perfectly in quick succession: e.g. Feeding, bathing, bedtime.

Journeyman: a dad of several kids, both old and young. He’s been there, done that.

Killer pass: when I pass a full nappy to my wife (or she does to me!)

Lost the dressing room: when my wife loses faith in my parenting skills!

Man to man marking: when the little one is tearing around the house and I’ve gotta keep my eye on her.

Own goal: when I wake the baby up because I checked in to see if she was sleeping.

Playmaker: a friend or sibling who’s great at playing with the little one.

Quadruple: a day when nap time, feeding, bath and bed time are all handled with aplomb.

Reflex save: when I miraculously stop the little one from falling over with my cat-like reflexes.

Set pieces: nappy changing, bathing, bottle feeding set plays you need to master.

Technical area: the landing or hallway, where all whispered parental “conversations” take place.

Theatre of dreams: when I got the nursery just perfect and conducive for drifting off to the land of nod.

Unplayable conditions: does not exist. Tired, sick, whatever – you’ve just got to Dad-Up and parent in all conditions.

Versatile: being prepared and able to deal with whatever my baby throws at me. Quite literally sometimes…

I’ve got to be prepared for what’s coming out of left field

Water-logged: when the nappy is full.

Wrong footed: when you open a nappy, expecting a number 1 and you’re presented with a huge number 2.

XI (eleven): the number of years I aged in my first season of fatherhood.

Yo-yo kid: when my little one shifts from satanic screaming to delirious laughing in 7 seconds.

Z: zzzz : I don’t see many of these…

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