Category Archives: Dadlife

#DadLife: Park Life

My little ginger snap and I have been working on a regular Saturday morning (7am) trip to our local park. This gives my lovely Mrs a chance to sleep uninterrupted by our creaking couch and excited shouts of “Peppa Peeeg!”

I make her a bottle, put a banana in my jacket pocket and we stop off at our local Costa for a latte (for me) and a take-out toasted breakfast bloomer. Apart from morning dog walkers wandering around the recreation ground the children’s play area is usually deserted at this time of the morning.

We start off by sitting down on one of the benches and sharing the bloomer a third for her and two thirds for me and we drink our drinks and then she has her ‘nana – having chatted to a friend of mine whose child is of an age with my little ginge I think that small children have an affinity for bananas that is difficult to put into words. She is good at sharing though and will physically try and fore mushed banana into my mouth if I do not take some willingly.

For several weekends now her main fascination has been with the children’s obstacle course, she is still too small to do it but walks around the course looking at the various obstacles going “oooh” and sitting on the bits that are low enough. Lately she has been trying out beginner geocaching by picking up pebbles and putting them in places that you would not normally expect to find them at the playground.

When she starts wandering heaven help me if my concentration falters – even for a second for she will take off, and she can move rapidly, even on her little legs. I sometimes lag back purposefully and if she notices that I am not keeping pace with her she will turn around and shout at me until I catch up. Sometimes she will head towards one of the gates and if I cannot catch her in time she will try to open it and get into the larger park.

Once she has been suitably distracted she will do a circuit of the playground’s other attractions, down two of the smaller slides, round the merry-go-round and spinning wheel then crawling around the toy train and finally the see-saw with interludes sitting in the little playhouse where she will put wood chips on the table and tell me about them when I sit with her.

She is changing so rapidly, she alternates between demanding her freedom and chasing me away very vocally when she wants to do things on her own then wanting to be picked up and lifted on to whatever she wants to play on. She is at the size where I can still sweep her up and throw her into the air and catch her safely while she screams with laughter and nuzzles into my neck for a cuddle.

I have heard tell that these moments pass by so quickly that I am taking every opportunity to spend time with her while everything is new and exciting – even a quick visit to the park!

#DadLife: Visiting the Library

It is one of life’s ironies that although I am a librarian I do not take my little ginger snap to the library that often. That joy falls to my lovely wife who treks her up to the library several times a week for toddler time, baby rhyme time and sundry craft activities. To be completely honest – this makes me a bit jealous as once upon a time I was a Children’s Librarian in my first Library job (Fish Hoek Public Library) and I have seen how much fun these activities can be!

My daughter loves the library, each time we walk past she points and starts shouting at me at this time it is still hard to understand what she is saying but I imagine it is something along the lines of “No you fool I want to go in *there*” and then she bursts into tears as we carry on walking. This is not, you understand, a form of mental torture I subject my child to, rather it is because that whenever we go past, the library is already closed.

However on Saturday morning while waiting for the car to be washed we had a bit of time so we popped in to our local library (Chislehurst), The moment we went through the doors she started fighting to get out of the pram and made excited noises, the moment her feet hit the floor she ran straight for the Children’s Library.

She grabbed a book off the parenting shelf and brought it proudly to me, it was a book on potty-training which made me wonder if she was trying to tell me something. She then started running round the shelves grabbing books, seemingly at random then plonked herself down and started looking at them. I am always amazed at how carefully she turns the pages – until she gets excited, then I have to step in to make sure that she does not accidentally pull pages out. So far the worst she has done is remove a date-stamp label but I live in fear of having to take a toddlerised book to the library desk.

I love the Library – when I was small my mother took my brothers and I for a visit to our local library every week. It gives me a sense of enormous well-being that we are continuing this tradition with our daughter.

DadLife: Waking up & Peppa Pig

My little gingersnap woke up perky and vocal at 5:45 this morning.

We are currently weaning her off what she calls “boobas” so I am on morning milk call. I am not by nature a morning person, but having a gorgeous smiling child bouncing excitedly at the baby gate does wonders for motivation at springing up to face the day.

After a quick nappy change (her not me) I prepare a bottle of milk and we settle down on the couch for a feed and a cuddle.

Her request this morning is for Peppa Pig – actually it is this most mornings! Hler excited “Bebba Beeeg” is impossible to resist.

Peppa is her favourite cultural icon for littlies. The Mrs and I have watched so much of it we have developed a weird fascination with it, we are both convinced that local workaholic Miss Rabbit is having an affair with her twin sister’s husband Mr Rabbit – I mean it is pretty obvious as they do work together in some of Miss Rabbit’s jobs and you seldom see Mr & Mrs Rabbit together.

This is just a theory brought on by overexposure to a kiddy cartoon.

If I end up jumping in muddy puddles it is probably time to lock me away!