We caught up with writer and comedian Danny to quiz him about life as a dad and all of the (hilarious) horror stories, toddler meltdowns and learning curves that come with it.
Danny Wallace is one busy man. As well as being a dad to four-year-old son Elliott, the comedian and writer has just released his latest book Who Is Tom Ditto? and is preparing for the arrival of his second child – which, he jokes, is ‘all [his] own work.’ Nothing to do with wife Greta at all, eh Danny?
Covering everything from getting Elliott involved in the new baby’s arrival to completely cringe-worthy parenting faux pas, Danny opens up to M&B about life at home with his wife and son – and preparing for their baby girl to arrive.
‘I believe that girls are a bit easier to start with. My little boy is the most wonderful, eccentric, funny little man but he’s a little tornado as well so it will be nice to have a girl to offset that a little bit. He kisses his mum’s tummy and he tells the baby that he loves her and I’m getting him to help me design her nursery so that he feels part of it. I’m also pressing upon him that he’s going to have to look out for this little girl – he’s going to be a big brother.
‘I believe that girls are a bit easier to start with'
My wife will never forget the day she was walking around an American supermarket and she thought ‘this supermarket’s a bit grubby’ and there seemed to be urine everywhere. But it couldn’t have been our son. No way, he’s in the sling… But it was. So she was essentially like the garden sprinkler but without realising.
There was the day I took my son out to the park and he started calling ‘mum!’ and I was like ‘No that’s not your mum that’s a jogger’ and I could see a meltdown coming. And then he started shouting something that he’s never shouted before, which was the word ‘help’. He starts running after this jogger shouting ‘help, mummy, help’ as a man in an army jacket and sunglasses (me) chases him through a park. So that was a bit of a nightmare.
To be honest, I think my wife’s faking cravings. I think she’s playing a very clever game. Because when we found out she was pregnant, I said, ‘oh, maybe that’s why you wanted that fry up yesterday!’ and I think that sparked something in her head. I’m able to mock-disapprove, so that means I’m a healthy eater although I’m eating it all as well. Out of sympathy, of course.
I’m able to mock-disapprove, so that means I’m a healthy eater although I’m eating it all as well
I do everything I can to make my son laugh – probably to the point of annoyance. I also invent songs. My son’s current favourite is ‘The Butterflies of Love’, which is a touching ballad I improvised one day in the kitchen. And it’s great to hear… until you hear it being sung at four in the morning while you’re trying to get to sleep. I want him to have fun experiences and I want to encourage his ideas and make him think in slightly weird ways.
My favourite thing my son did recently happened when we were watching Scooby Doo. The phrase ‘boobytrap’ came up and I didn’t really know how to explain it. So I tried but I think I failed because later he walked into the living room holding one of my wife’s bras and said ‘is this a boobytrap’ and I was like ‘yes!’. Moments like that are just brilliant.
My advice to dads-to-be would be get your sleep and go to the cinema with your wife because that’s not going to happen for a while – unless it’s a cartoon. But I wouldn’t presume to give dads any advice because everyone learns on the job and learns about their own kid. You tailor what you do to your own child and hope that it won’t mess them up too much!’
Any of these parenting faux pas ring true? Share your own in the comments box below.