There were certain things I correctly predicted about becoming a father, but after nearly five bleary months I can confirm there's been one thing that absolutely blindsided me.
It wasn't that we'd never again enjoy an unbroken night's sleep, that's for damn sure. That fact was rubbed into my face from the second my wife and I announced we had a Streetling on the way, usually phrased by jerks as "well, you'd better get all your sleeping in now, ho ho ho". Which, for the record, doesn't work - although dammit, we tried.
And it wasn't a surprise to discover every waking moment would now be overlaid with a low-level but ever present anxiety about whether our child is in imminent peril, vastly amplified by that infant first aid course we did. And that's despite now knowing what to do in the admittedly unlikely event we find an antsy king brown in his cot.
I did arrogantly pretend we'd absolutely still go out and do stuff in this magnificent and unaffordable city, ambitiously announcing to friends that we should all go see Teenage Fanclub at Taronga together while circling the gigs in the Sydney Festival program that looked particularly interesting. I'm told they were all great.
I did vaguely wonder if having a child would soften my politics, but so far it seems like the opposite is true. Governmental decisions I'd once have been annoyed by are now downright infuriating, possibly because I'm worried about the long term effects they will have on the country my son will grow up in, and more likely because I've had four hours sleep and no longer have as much patience for smug men refusing to answer direct questions on 7.30.
As someone who works from home and is easily distracted, I correctly predicted my work rate would suffer. And at the risk of painting my child as a leaner rather than a lifter, I was right to assume that he'd be costing us a lot more than he earns.
On the plus side, I also knew I'd love the absolute heck out of him, confidently basing this prediction on the degree to which I adore my nephews and nieces and the offspring of friends. Kids, in my experience, are universally awesome. And I knew that my wife would be amazing, and vastly better organised than I am.
But here's the thing that completely surprised me: I had no idea just how much laughing I'd be doing each and every day.
It turns out my son is the most entertaining human being that has ever lived - you know, just like every other child.
I confess that more than once we have wished, getting up for the first feed at around 5am, that we'd be confronted by a flamboyantly dressed David Bowie announcing that he's taken our child and that we now have thirteen hours to solve his Labyrinth (not least because I'm confident we'd be able to get our heads down for a couple of hours first).
But when James catches sight of us shuffling up to this cot and his face breaks into that joyful, gummy smile, I can't help but chuckle and suddenly insufficient sleep doesn't feel like such a hardship.
When he puffs into delighted giggles at having his feet tickled, or stares with a combination of pride and genuine surprise at having turned himself over, I burst out laughing. When he defiantly spits out his dummy, or kicks a sock off his foot and then grins like he's thrown a surprise three-pointer, I cackle like a man possessed. And nappy changes are as rich in comedy as they are in... um, other things.
And I realise we're impossibly lucky to have such a happy, healthy son, and I appreciate that the three of us have barely taken the first steps on this particular life-long marathon. It might not always be quite so hilarious, since there are so many challenges to come. Physics homework, for example. Schoolyard crushes. Climate change. Teeth. The list goes on.
And I know plenty of parents-to-be who are understandably anxious about the way their life is about to change, dramatically and forever, and who could do with some reassurance that the compromises are worthwhile.
So this is my sole nugget of wisdom borne of experience that I have to offer: among all the predictable pressures of parenthood, expect to be doing a lot of laughing.
And nappy changes, obviously.