Daryl Beattie and his 'little green frog'

Daryl Beattie and his 'little green frog'

As an adrenalin junkie and motorcycle racing enthusiast, Daryl Beattie is not someone you instantly picture smiling down at a small baby, wrapped carefully in a fluffy pink blanket.  But Daryl’s wife Catherine recently gave birth to their daughter Elizabeth at Mater Mothers’ Private Hospital Brisbane and, understandably, their lives have not been the same since.

When Daryl and Catherine met, Daryl had previously been married and already had two sons and Catherine was told she was unable to have children so the possibility of having a child together was not something the couple ever considered.  However, life had different plans and one day, out of the blue, Catherine rang Daryl to share the news that she was expecting.

“It’s amazing how quickly your outlook on life can change,” said Daryl.

“I thought initially when our relationship first started, that there were going to be no more kids in my life, to now having Elizabeth, you think ‘wow, how could I have ever thought there were going to be no more kids in my life when this beautiful girl is here in our lives’. We are very lucky.”

“I’m 47 this year so it’s a massive difference from when I had my two sons.  I’m probably a bit more settled in my life now, more relaxed and I’m getting to enjoy that baby period more than I did back then.  It’s been special.”

In 1995 Daryl came second in the 500cc World Championship in Argentina, coming second only to Mick Doohan.  Daryl has been retired from motorsports since 1997 but not content with just a bike license, Daryl also holds a commercial helicopter license, as well as a fixed wing, hot air balloon, paragliding and paramotor license.  Elizabeth clearly takes after her dad.

“I can tell you this much, when you start a motorbike in the shed she doesn’t bat an eyelid, doesn’t jump, doesn’t cry,” Daryl said.

“The other day she sat in the garage in her bassinet looking at me and the bikes, staring for about two hours.  Cat isn’t impressed and joked that it would be typical that she would have a daughter who loves motorbikes and won’t be into ballet.”

Like her husband, Catherine is no stranger to the spotlight and has had a long career in publicity, most recently as Head of Publicity for Channel Ten.

“It’s so nice Catherine has taken time out from her career and to see that transition from a career woman to a mum,” Daryl said.

“My wife is amazing.  She does everything.  Not long after Elizabeth was born I was away for four weeks on a stint in the desert and then home and then away again for another month.

“It’s been hard being away, but I’ve always done it.  I do worry at times but I guess on the other side of the coin when I’m home I’m here all day and all night so it balances out really well.”

The couple moved from Sydney back to their home town of Brisbane prior to Elizabeth’s birth and are currently busy renovating their family home.

“At this stage we’ll be in just before Christmas around the time Elizabeth will be crawling so I think the timing will be lovely,” Daryl said.

“I love kissing her hands and when I look at her she gives that cheeky smile and tries to copy.  She’s a treasure.  My ‘little green frog’.”

Given that Daryl’s ‘little green frog’ seems to be into motorbikes like her dad, Daryl is keen that her first words reflect their shared passion.

“I am working on her first words being ‘vroom, vroom’”, Daryl said.

As for plans for Father’s Day, Daryl is looking forward to having his family all together.

“Maybe have a barbeque or something.  Just a nice day with the family.”

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