He used to be so well-groomed, full of life and laid back. Now he hasn't shaved for days, his clothes are covered with milky-white vomit, and he is constantly shifting between half-dead and high alert. He's a bewildered new father, and he doesn't even know what he wants anymore.
Being a new father slightly more bewildered than most (yay twins), the things I'd like for the Christmas holidays fall into two categories: items that will entertain me during the rare times I am without the children, and things for the children that remind me that underneath this thin crust of dried spit-up I'm still a geek and a gamer.
Ah, the bathroom. In this terrifying new world of infant ooze and ear-piercing screams there is still one place where no one will bother you, and there are plenty of quick and dirty games on iTunes for when you need to get your quick and dirty on. From $20.
They'll only wear them for a few months, but what a statement they'll make! Geek clothier Jinx carries a nice variety of baby-friendly gaming gear, from the adorable Portal companion cube outfit to the amusingly-named Minecraft Creeper creeper. $US15-$US18.
Can you imagine anything more adorable than a new father and his young son oor daughter sitting side-by-side on their respective laptops? It's even better when you realise that one is performing a complex, stimulating, and rewarding task while the other one plays World of Warcraft. $US18.
Babies want to be held, he wants to play video games. What he needs is a solution that will allow him to do both at the same time. The Moby Wrap is that solution. It's the one-size-fits-all solution to strapping a baby to a body, more versatile than a conventional baby carrier and much more comfortable. Strap them in face out for kid-friendly games, and then turn em' around for a little Mortal Kombat. $US50.
"One day the kids will love these" he'll say. He'll convince himself that even though they are tiny people that just want to put everything in their mouths, sitting on the floor with dad playing Activision's genius pairing of toys and video games is somehow going to stick with them. I know I did. $US69-$US79.
"Honey, it's got books on it. I can read to the children, and look! This picture shows kids playing with it!" He'll say he wants it for the books, or to entertain the kids on long road trips, or any number of other completely made up reasons. What he really wants to do is read comic books and play Angry Birds upon his sacred throne, the safest place in the house until the children start walking, at which point it's a hotbed for embarassing stories. Let him savour these moments. $US200.
Now that there are vassals involved the man is now officially king of the castle, or at least that's what his life partner would have him believe, and every king needs a throne. A throne of games, if you will. And while there are plenty of convoluted gaming-specific seats out there, nothing beats a nice recliner in terms of comfort and dadditude. The X Rocker Deluxe reclines, rocks, and rocks some more, thanks to the integrated 2.1 channel wireless sound system capable of transmitting up to 20m away. It's built to shake during times of great bass, so it might even come in handy when the kids aren't around. Ha ha, just kidding; the kids are never not around. $US400.