Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Where do the days go to? Forget that, where do the years go?

Having children is great. Yeah, everyone says that, and at the same time everyone gets run ragged during the same journey, but really, honestly and truly, having children is great.

One great aspect of having children is watching them progress. Starting from this helpless bundle that leaves the hospital with you, reliant on you to do everything from feed, change, bath and even burp them. So helpless, pure and innocent. Then you watch them as they start to crawl, make those first few moves towards walking as you nervously try to catch them and make sure they don't fall into anything sharp or hard. Reminded of the anxiety of that as I write about it! Slowly they begin to talk, or in most cases just make some noises that only parents can decipher as 'talking', and even then with some effort.

In what seems a few days they are constantly talking to you, asking questions that amuse and amaze you  - "Daddy, you can't drink coffee in a car because drinking and driving is bold" - and in public discussing what sometimes seems like the most thought out ways to embarrass you.

On it goes, at lightning speed, to pre-school or school - that first day where you are more nervous that your child, and like all the other parents tiptoe around the room nervously, exchanging anxious smiles with other parents. This moment, while you don't know it at the time, is when they start their own lives independently. Up to now everything in their life and behaviour has been managed and controlled by you. Their interactions have been with who you have decided and you have been there to jump in whenever needed. Now, they are on their own. And perhaps more of a blow - you are.

All that is about a four-year journey, and definitely there are times where it feels like years longer (usually when you are up for your tenth sleepless night nursing a sick or sleepless child), but taken as a whole it seems like days. That child who is answering you back, who is disagreeing with you on bedtime or that they are old enough to play Minecraft because their classmates are, is suddenly no longer your little baby. They have morphed into a fully independent individual with all that entails. How did that happen?

However this strange distortion of time happens on the parenting journey, the lesson I have learned and will share is that parents should embrace every moment, record every memory, and really be mindful of the many, many stages of development we are privileged to share. Do it now, because these days, months and years will fly by and they only happen once in a lifetime.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Music and Dancing

Rebecca is a real girly girl. She is so full of love and cuddles and care for everything (her brother Alan being the current top recipient, after Daddy).

We dance together some evenings, and the last few days we have been watching 'The Beatles' videos and songs on my chromebook. It is great fun dancing with her - no inhibitions, and for someone with as little dance coordination as me that's a great bonus!

We watched hello/goodbye a few times and I think it is her curent favourite. It was essential she kew who the guy in the red was, in the yellow, in the green, the guy on the drums.

Next was Sgt Pepper's Lonely Heart Club Band, where they are in the same colours. The question there was - Who is Sargent pepper Daddy?

Next we watched "come together", which had an animated video...and that is where Dad was truly confused - the colours were swapped and I had to map the yellow man to the blue man, the green to black and all while dancing, and holding Rebecca in my arms.

Still the most fun I've had all week!

I think I'll wait a while before we go onto Pink Floyd.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Cabin fever

The weather here has really been terrible lately. I've managed to walk Rebecca to school two days this year, but most other times one of us has driven. Same goes for Alan - he has barely seen the outside world since Christmas.

So, when I saw this I felt a pang of jealousy!

Still, the weather seems to have turned a corner and be settling down, and the odd spell of sunshine is breaking through. Roll on the Summer and enjoying living in the countryside.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

When sickness comes to town

Parenting is tiring. There are no two ways about it, it is really tiring. Not in a bad way, it is just that kids have sooooo much energy and kind of feed off attention. That takes some getting used to but every parent gets there and the rewards are worth every bit of it. It is a balance of yours and your children's needs, but you know at the end of the day you will have a bit of time to sit back and relax for a few minutes, or go to the toilet on your own without waiting for a scream/crash/cry, so inevitably you spend your day dedicating every moment to your children's needs. Just as it should be in my opinion.

For us we have a 3 (and a half) year old and a 7 month old. That's a lot of attention and care to give, but I know there are families of 6,7,8 out there so don't get me wrong - I know we have it easy. Where that balance becomes difficult is when someone gets sick.

If it is one of the adults you have to keep the kids away from that parent. The other parent is then left taking care of the kids on their own all day.  Manageable.

Then suppose one of the kids gets sick too. So one adult is sick, and one child. This means the other parent is caring for two sick people and one healthy and trying to quarantine the sick away form the healthy. Awkward, but manageable in the short term.

Now let's up the game a bit. Two sick adults. One sick child, one healthy child. Now you have to care for a child while staying away from them. You are likely to be up all night with the sick child. And you are battling your own sickness too. Bloody hard.

Next let's not go to the all sick step, but rather what happens in reality. One parent gets better. Sick child gets better. Healthy child picks up sickness from remaining sick parent. Remaining sick parent gets well just in time for healthy parent to pick up sickness from the now sick child. The sick child gets well, but the healthy child picks up sickness from the now sick parent. Take that loop and repeat for 5 or 6 weeks and you have exactly what is happening in our house.

And do you know the funny thing? Apart from being very worn out, we're all having great fun together. That's the great thing about families - being together is all you need. Still, I really want my health back thank you very much!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Dada dada dada

Alan started to say dada dada dada over the weekend. I know it wasn't actually a word, and wasn't directed at me but it still felt great. It makes up for the fact he hasn't slept the last four nights!

He is coming on so much, interested in more things, and much more interactive (he always was, just more-so). I think this is the start of that transformation into us being four people interacting fully. Up to now we all make an effort to interact with Alan as much as possible, and he is so smiley it is a very rewarding pursuit, but I feel now he will more and more start to call us to interact.

I see it with his feeding too. He has an immense hunger and will basically growl for more, leaning forward to you, mouth open. It sounds like such a small thing but when you think it through this is the basics of a conversation. From Alan's perspective - I am saying to you give me more of that lovely food. If you respond by acknowledging this and giving food there is a smile, but if not there is more "ughhhhh...uugghhhh" until you do. OK, not exactly the Socratic method, but it is the beginning.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Haggle haggle haggle...

I think Rebecca will do a fine job in business. She has the concept of haggling right down,although she is still a bit hasty with her counter offers, prior to doing the maths. An example:

"OK Rebecca, if you eat four more bites you can leave the table."

"No, five more bites!"

"OK love, you win. Five more bites. Now eat up."

Everyone happy with the outcome. Long may it last.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Going to pre-school

Rebecca started a big chapter in her life, which is a big one in Mummy and Daddy's too. She has started going to our local Montessori pre-school.

She started back in January, but with a flu, an ear infection and a bad old cough she didn't really get to go properly until last week.The first few days before she got sick she seemed not to be taking part in things too much, which had us a bit worried.
She wasn't her usual self when we asked about school.  Usually she is a fountain of information, but on school it seemed that she was segmenting that as her out of the house life, and Mummy and Daddy should be happy enough with her in the house life and mind their own business. Or so it felt at least! From the small nuggets of information we were able to pull from her we found out that "The children clean up the toys at the end of the day". Very good, but a follow up "And did you help?" was answered with "No. The children did it.".

I am glad to report that she is now finding herself to be one of the children and is taking part in lots of activities. She has even brought Daddy home a giraffe. Yes, I am prouder of this giraffe creation than I am of my degree in fine art. And why wouldn't I be?

It is a big trust thing for me to let me little girl go off into the care of someone else. I know every parent has to go through the same, I just hadn't been prepared for it myself. I guess it is one of the down sides to being a work-from-home Daddy: I am very attached to my kids.

Still not so bad, I get a huge big cuddle when she gets home.