Saturday, 31 May 2008

Two go down the garden!

I spent a delightful hour with Lucy in the garden today. She was happy, infectiously giggly and a pleasure to be with. We bounced, we danced, we ran, we tickled and giggled, we sang (badly), we chased the cats (I'm not a cat lover), we cuddled and we generally prated about. It was a true bonding experience. The best bit of all was lying on the grass face to face and chatting. Obviously I was talking to a two and a half year old, so we were not talking about Tolstoy, however she chortled away about nothing much, but it was magical. Something I really look forward to experiencing with baby number two. My wife has spoken by the way - the new baby will be called Anna Kate if it is a girl. Once my wife makes up her mind, it is pointless putting up any resistance.
Great news on the Pingu front. I may have lost the battle the other day, but don't count me out of the war. Lucy has progressed to 'Toy Story' - a classic film. I am so glad that she finally shares her dad's love of film.
Amy bought a wonderful new book for Lucy the other day. It's called 'I am going to be a big sister'. We are slowly getting her used to the idea of having a baby in the house. At the moment she is putting nappies, bibs and assorted baby things on rabbit. I feel sorry for the little guy because he keeps having to wear pink, if I were him my self-esteem would have hit an all time low!

Friday, 30 May 2008

If only one could go back to passive and immobile!

Once again my wife was naive enough to leave me in charge of Looby (that what we call Lucy on the odd occasion) today. To say we challenged each other this morning is an understatement! Our walk into town was like a dual and I lost miserably. I knew the true meaning of the phrase terrible twos as Lucy screamed prostrate on the pavement shouting 'I don't want it!' At that point I was frantically looking around for a lovely big hole to swallow me up as at least twenty judgemental people were looking on. You could feel them asking questions like how will he deal with it OR I wish people would control their children. The hole never swallowed me up so I had to do some parenting. Eventually I negotiated a peace treaty and we moved on to play on the slides and the ball pool at mega fun. The day did get better and it was a joy to watch Lucy chasing around with another girl called Imogen for at least twenty minutes. I do worry about whether Lucy interacts well with other children. She seems very relaxed in adult company and very tentative in the company of other children.
After all these trails and tribulations, I have to say I was worn out. There are some days that I wish we could go back to inanimate, passive baby who does not move - for just one day would do! Please see picture attached. She was cute, less opinionated and very compliant. HOW THINGS CHANGE!

Wednesday, 28 May 2008

It's those little things...

Being a working parent can be so frustrating - whether you are a mum or a dad, especially if you work long hours. Days can go by and you barely see the little one. You feel like you are missing out on so much and one day you come home and your child says 'Daddy is here' - with a look of surprise on her face or she is doing something you didn't know she could do and my wife says to me - she's been doing that for weeks. Sometimes with a job like mine - running a twenty four hour a day care home, it's really frustrating not being able to have time for your family and you feel like you let them down or simply miss out on things. Lucy picks up on me not being here as well, some evenings when I get home, she simply will not do what I ask her to do, it's probably nothing personal, it's simply that she is her mother's daughter! Children need consistency especially around how they are asked to do something and if you don't see how mum is asking her because you are at work, you can just fall flat on you face and the child does not respond. Believe me for the last two evenings Lucy has not responded! Never the less I will persevere and maybe tomorrow will bring good results and my daughter will do as I say. Now that will be a first for this week. Despite this I will celebrate this post with a picture of Lucy simply because I can! I tried to upload a video of Lucy onto the blog tonight, but either my technical ability or the computer let me down. A shame really because there was a choice of Lucy droning the theme tune to Bob The Builder in the bath or counting whilst jumping off the sofa! Never mind will try again another day.......

Sunday, 25 May 2008

Damn that hallucinogenic apple!

There are many experiences we take for granted as adults that simply do not phase us. Children have so many new experiences on a daily basis that they have to work out and understand. They often rationalise them in the most lovely and entertaining way. Today Lucy met her Granny Carol's identical twin sister Ce and simply stated 'it's another Granny!'

We have had a lovely day today. Typical bank holiday weekend - raining. Lucy and I had a fabulous time splashing in the puddles and getting really wet whilst shopping in Norwich. Earlier blogs alluded to the fact that I need to concentrate on the more serious side of parenting instead of buffoonery, however that was just too good an opportunity to waste. I particularly enjoyed the disapproving looks that came from elderly and middle class shoppers as they passed by. Bite me, I am an irresponsible parent and it was great fun!! One of the joys of being a parent is being able to share a moment like that with your children. I don't suppose Lucy will remember it, but I know I will.....

Amy confessed to me in the car today that she is starting to get nervous about the birth in six weeks or so. Me too. I am in awe of women during child birth. Lucy's birth was very difficult and I can understand why she is anxious. The worry of being a parent is there even before they are born. I am a bit of a control freak and I recall feeling so helpless during Lucy's birth. I wish that there was something more that I could do. All I want is my wife and baby to come through the birth safely and well. They mean so much to me and watching it all unfold before you and not being able to do a thing is frightening. I am keeping my fingers crossed that all goes well.

Saturday, 24 May 2008

I am a lean mean parenting machine!

Sometimes parenting is about pure luck. Lucy loves television. I have no problem with this as the only thing she watches is Cbeebies or a DVD chosen by us. However in recent weeks she has developed an unhealthy obsession with Pingu and I mean weeks - she has not watched anything else. This morning I have broken the cycle! YES! YES! I have to confess I got lucky in the fact that the programmes on Cbeebies were ones that she likes, but I am still going to take the credit. Please don't get the impression that we simply stick our daughter in front of the television. She loves books, playing and many other things. But I have to take my hat off to the makers of Cbeebies programmes, because they are excellent and educational and she learns so much from them! They can simply give parents a well earned break and every parent needs a well earned break. Before my wife and I had a child I remember discussing that we would never put our child in front of the television for a break. WRONG! Any parent who says they don't do it simply to wind their head down is lying or extremely patient and deserves saint like status!
Thank God the Pingu thing is broken. It scares me - I am sure that it contains hypnotic and subliminal messages, perhaps from a religious cult or something....
Damn my triumph lasted about twenty minutes! Damn that religious cult! I am going to hunt them and their families down for eternity!! AHHHHHHHH! Pingu is back on! Parenting is sometimes simply a battle of wills and sometimes you loose.......Please see picture attached of Lucy's victory dance!

Thursday, 22 May 2008

I am in sole charge of the little one!

Today my wife was stupid enough to leave me in charge of Lucy. It didn't go well at times?! My fatal mistake was to overload her with ice cream to the point she was sick in our favourite coffee shop. Won't be going there for a few days!

The days where I have Lucy on my own can be a real disaster! I look forward to them so much and have really high expectations as they are so few and far between. I try to cram so much in to the days , I think I simply wear Lucy out and she gets tired and grumpy. I feel that I need to treat her with something like the ice cream to compensate for not spending enough time with her and I never learn that treats like this usually spell disaster. The most amazing thing about today despite my cock ups was that for the first time ever this week Lucy loves being on my shoulders. This just seems like a real dad thing and I was chuffed to bits! Hence the photographic evidence. Another lesson today - don't overload and over excite children. It does them no good, as discovered!

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

What am I to do......

Being a dad can be so frustrating. What do you do!? Lucy, for some reason had a very bad nights sleep last night. Very unsettled and waking up regularly. Why is it when children are upset, they always want their mummy. Such a small thing and I found it really upsetting. I was rejected by a two year old in the middle of the night! I could have been tucked up in bed, but I was upset by the fact that Lucy had got her mother up instead of me! I am a strange being. Maybe it is the nature of relationships that we forge with our children as fathers that stop children wanting that element of closeness with us when upset. If any dad reading this is like me, I seem to have forged a relationship with my daughter based on buffoonery and silliness. So maybe Lucy simply does not see me that way. I think I need to work on that aspect of our relationship fast!

I am a fickle parent! Forget all the analysis and lack of confidence recriminations. As I was leaving her bedroom tonight Lucy said 'I love you daddy' with a big sheepish grin on her face. Fantastic! Amazing! Pray she sleeps tonight. I suppose we are just getting practice in for our impending arrival in a few weeks....Might as well get used to it.

Monday, 19 May 2008

Another day in parenting land........

Being a parent is about being accessible to your children for twenty four hours a day. It is impossible to be a part time parent. You never stop thinking about them, even when you are not with them. Last night I was accessible to Lucy at midnight when Rabbit's cardigan was not on! She woke me up to tell me and this morning I had to make myself available to support with the urgent matter that Molly the doll got stuck in the tractor! Maybe being a parent is about being an emergency service and a cry is a 999 call for help. Amy my wife, has had to really push me hard to try and ignore some of Lucy's crying, especially at night, so that she can settle herself. I still find it hard - my instinct is to help and I have to confess to struggling to cope with the noise of a crying child.

When Lucy was very small, Amy bought a book called 'The contented little baby' or something like that - that helps parents with establishing routines. My wife turned into a gestapo officer, she even frightened me! It worked though, the majority of the time Lucy sleeps well and we enjoy a relaxing evening. SOON ALL THAT WILL CHANGE WHEN OUR NEXT BABY ARRIVES! In the meantime I am happy to be accessible twenty four hours a day - who could resist the face of the fairy above!

Sunday, 18 May 2008

The beginning.....


This is my daughter Lucy. To say I am a proud father would be an understatement. I never had family of my own, so Lucy's birth in October 2005 opened up a new chapter in my life. My name is Bob and I live in Norfolk with my wife Amy. In seven weeks my wife will give birth to our second child. I can't wait, as Lucy has brought so much joy into my life. The baby is expected to be a girl - I always thought I was doomed to spend the rest of my life with three women! All those hormones and boyfriends.
Parenting is not something that comes naturally to me. Before Lucy came along I thought I had got life pretty much figured out, I knew what I was doing, I run a Care Home - so I thought I had a good knowledge of people and what makes them tick.
However. I was SO WRONG. CHILDREN JUST TEAR UP THE RULE BOOK AND MAKE YOU START AGAIN. There is not a day that does not go by where I don't worry about being a good dad to Lucy. I thought that I would use this blog as a way of sharing what I think of parenting and family life. It is still such a new experience for me and every day I learn something new. I make so many mistakes and get some things right. Being a dad is difficult and you can often feel useless and sidelined - especially when babies are very small. I felt like a glorified tea maker when Lucy was small. I did it to an exceptionally high standard though! I am not trying to re-invent the wheel in child development. I just feel that as my blog progresses I can share my experiences about family life. Would welcome comments from any reader.......

I leave you with this today.

Five amazing things about being Lucy's dad....
  1. Watching her grow and sharing all those new things that are amazing about childhood
  2. When she calls me daddy, such a simple word, my heart melts.

  3. The love that we have between us is like nothing else I have ever experienced. I can't describe it.

  4. Her giggle is infectious!

  5. Bathtime has always been my time, wrapping her up in a warm towel afterwards just tops it off.

Five worries about being Lucy's dad.....

  1. The fear of loosing her.

  2. The fear of something bad happening to her.

  3. Not knowing whether I am doing the right thing.

  4. Her obsession with Pingu! It drives me mad...

  5. Wanting her to become the good person I know she can be and it is my responsibility to enable her to fulfill her potential.