The Casual Father: Worst dad of year application submitted after near death experience

Casual Father

Casual Father


I had a lovely weekend. Okay, I had a few jobs to do in the garden, but the sun was shining, Elizabeth was playing and all seemed right with the world.

Elizabeth Steward in a more conventional eating experience. Picture: MICHAEL STEWARD Elizabeth Steward in a more conventional eating experience. Picture: MICHAEL STEWARD

Fast forward about 12 hours, when I’m sat in A&E with my daughter feeling like a contender for worst dad of the year 2017, and things were wholly different.

I’ll explain. In the last few weeks, Elizabeth has started putting everything in her mouth.

Doesn’t matter what it is, food, hair clips, phones, keys, nothing is off limits – and it’s often a challenge to grapple the offending item out of her hand.

Nothing unusual there for a 18-month-old, but it does mean extra vigilance is required on childcare duties, which is where I came unstuck on Monday morning.

With the wife still at work finishing a night shift at the hospital, I was in sole charge of Elizabeth.

It’s a tricky balance to get her up, fed, and changed alongside doing all those things for myself, while at the same time fending off a few tantrums.

That said, I have managed to get myself in a reasonable groove with it all, and normally hit my deadline for parent/in-law pick up.

All was going swimmingly at first on Monday, Elizabeth was sorted, I was putting the finishing touches to my tie in the mirror when a hear a splutter followed by a cry behind me.

In keeping with her recent form, Elizabeth had taken a slug from a bottle of the wife’s nail polish remover.

Mild panic sets in, followed by serious panic when I read the words, “If ingested, seek medical attention immediately” on the bottle.

Upon arrival at the hospital with my nail polish-guzzling daughter, I felt like I was under cross-examination.

“So where do you keep the nail polish?” asks the doctor, followed by, “Were you in the room at the time?” Perhaps I was a bit sensitive.

In the end, the doc gives the orders to just monitor her over the next 24 hours and explains that she would have had to neck the whole bottle and probably another one before we would have been in trouble.

Relating the incident to family and friends, I was relieved to hear that nearly all of them had a child near-death experience to report.

Kids climbing out of windows, burying themselves alive in the ground and my own personal favourite – a near electrocution from sticking scissors into the back of the telly.

The wife finally made to the hospital and was very supportive. “You need four eyes to keep tabs on her,” I say, shaking my head.

She smiles. “Well you’re going need eight from now on then.”

“Eh?” I reply, confused.

“I’m pregnant.”


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