Without any prompting, help or encouragement Anna did something that could quite possibly be one of the most amazing things I have ever seen. She picked up Lucy's writing training cards, grabbed a pen and began to trace over the words with exceptional accuracy and skill. She has never done this before, never been encouraged to write and never shown an interest. I am no educational or developmental expert when it comes to children but I believe for a child who is not yet three that is simply wonderful. I am quite literally speechless. She is still doing it downstairs and has been doing this for about fifteen minutes and each word she traces gets better and better. The giggle as each card is completed is a noise I have never heard from Anna that conveys sheer excitement and love of life and I have to confess that the last fifteen parental minutes have been some of the most wondrous I have had so far. A tear is streaming down my cheek. Sheer emotion and pride. WOW! I know that Wiggle is bright but now I am worried! Not so much for Amy as Lucy has been putting her hair into a pony tail and there are lots of ow, oh and ah's coming from her mouth! Hairdressing may not be Lucy's chosen career....
Tuesday, 21 June 2011
Fathers day always makes me in a very reflective mood. I promised myself that this year would be the year I would not do this and spend too much time reflecting on the past and my lack of a father in my childhood, but the past has caught up with me again and I have ended up with the same thoughts in my head. Firstly I realise how lucky I am and then I have the very quick and stark realisation that I must always keep going in my role as a dad and not make the same mistakes my parents did. I must always work hard to be a good dad, keep thinking, keep learning and show the two beautiful daughters that I have been gifted with how to grow up and lead their lives as good people.
Being a good parent is the most difficult, yet rewarding of tasks and it can at times be a heavy burden and there is not a day that does not go by when you do not worry about whether you are doing the right thing. The girls both enter new phases of their lives as they each grow up and develop that bring Amy and I new challenges as their parents and the lessons you learn in bringing up the eldest often mean nothing when going though the same stage with your youngest. I have never had to think and deliberate as much as I do as a father. All I know is; that the more I deliberate the closer I get to the answers or the further away I get from doing the right thing. Parenthood is all a bit confusing and the only way forward is to take one day at a time and tell yourself that no matter what you are in it for the long haul and will try and do your best. The rest is down to a bit of luck, maybe fate and the will of the gods.
In looking at the picture attached I feel a positive glow that despite all my rants, thoughts and agitations with being a parent, that maybe I am actually doing ok and that I worry too much. Lucy and Anna look happy and are deeply loved. So I will put away the self doubt until next year and see what lessons I have learnt and continue to grow in my role as a dad and try not to cloud my enjoyment of father's day by dwelling on the past.
Sunday, 19 June 2011
The girls rose very early today at 6am, however I was granted a delightful father's day lie in and stumbled out of my bed at 8am. This is a rarity and I did not want to get out of my warm pit. However, Anna had different ideas - she wanted to help mummy peel the vegetables for today's lunch and Amy had quite rightly declined her. Anna mounted one of her most audible strops in recent weeks and stomped up the stairs emotionally declaring her mother a 'liar' and 'not her friend anymore', and then the day begun. Excited by the arrival of Granny and Grandpa for a family meal, the girls levels of excitement and noise just grew and grew as the morning went on, as did my headache. Lucy was, for once far more bonkers than her sister. The noise levels finally dulled as the afternoon went on and with a full belly of Roast beef, apple cake and biscuits and cheese the grown ups settled down for some snoring (thank you, Granny), playing 'scaredy cat' and a chilled out afternoon. The rain has not helped in the last few days leaving the girls stuck indoors and needing to break free, however they were in good yet loud form today and I completed another father's day based on simplicity and family time. Thank you for my lovely cards and watch girls. Father's day still remains a new and slightly alien experience to me, but one I could really get used to....
Tuesday, 14 June 2011
The girls have been superstars since the weekend. All seems forgiven at present and both girls have been of good humour, empathy for their father and so far we have a strop free zone this week. Having been struck down by a stomach bug since Sunday they have asked me how I am, tried to look after me, insisted I have peace and quiet and generally looked after their old man. Thank you girls. Not all of their empathy has filled me with joy though. Anna has continually told me of her experiences in being sick and Lucy has retold us several tales of her exploits of where she has been sick in the house and it's various colours. I know that they are only trying to be helpful, but sometimes?! On a similar subject Lucy very ably looked after 'Charlie Chimp' from school at the weekend and did a great bit of writing to take back to school on Monday. As you can see Charlie looked pretty happy being under the hospitality of the family Hammond. Lucy came home today beaming as she had to see the headteacher and take her excellent writing to show her. She even got a sticker! Anna is taking a strange tact in looking after her toys by shoving them in her rucksack overnight and letting them spend the night in there. Florence Nightingale she ain't. 'Lala the Teletubby' must have a really bad back today after a night in that cramped space! Please see picture attached as she takes 'baby Jack' for a bit of a cramped spin on her balance bike! I suppose it's all part of the learning process in looking after others. I am just glad that Anna did not shove me in her rucksack overnight....
Thursday, 9 June 2011
I am a very proud dad. My girl is growing up. She is getting taller, her writing is coming on a treat and her second baby tooth came out today. Now I remember my agreement with Lucy and the tooth fairy and I poorly negotiated a price per tooth which I begrudgingly accept. I did not however sign up for what has happened today. I always said to Lucy that the tooth fairy needed to see Lucy's tooth before handing over the cash, quite reasonable I thought. I did not bargain on Lucy swallowing her tooth. There is no way on hells earth I am waiting for that to come out! I will simply be compliant and handover the cash! On this occasion I would even pay extra! Going back to Lucy's writing. She is making some really excellent attempts at words that should be way beyond her and trying to write sentences. Having spoken to the teaching guru that is my wife last night she says that this is very good. Today's attempt did not go quite so well. Lucy wrote the 'Pirates of the Caribbean', this came out as the 'Prats and the Cranbeen'. Priceless. Simply Priceless.
Sunday, 5 June 2011
Amy and the girls have had half term off together filled with a picnic at Sandringham (Anna choosing to be naked in the presence of the queen), a walk at Morston and a trip to see Kung Foo Panda at the cinema. I have been grafting and working and was away for some of this week too. The reception the girls gave me was wonderful - cuddles and kisses, at one point Anna would not let me go to the point that I could not breath! Very flattering and then they hit me with tantrums, sulking and a generally high level of being miserable. When I have not been here, I think the girls find it very difficult to adjust to me being back and tensions run over. I am desperate to spend time with them and they just want to continue as normal. Today has been fantastic though - a really fun family day. The girls helped me in the garden and Anna's game of shooting stick brought a big smile to my face. The sound affect that goes with the naked shooting was very amusing indeed. I have never known a human being who enjoys life so much when naked. I did tell her today that if she is not careful she might get a reputation in later life! Anyway - thanks for a good day today girls with minimal stropping too (bonus!)