This is four year old iBear….
She’s mine. I love her more than words can say and she’s the main reason I wanted to start this blog.
Becoming a Dad is without a doubt the best thing that has ever happened to me. I love everything about it. I always knew I would. From the second she was born I was totally head over heels in love and it would be near impossible to start describing all my experiences (ups as well as downs) in those four years within this blog. So to start with, what makes me smile right now.
iBear has developed a habit of constantly saying “excuse me” when she wants attention. She uses it all the time and I mean all the time. We’ve even heard her say it to herself whilst playing.
“Excuse me – can I tell/show you something”
“Excuse me – I need a wipe”
“Excuse me – I’ve finished”
“Excuse me – I’m playing with that, you play with this”
“Excuse me, Excuse me, Excuse me”……..
A couple of days ago iBear and I spend a good five minutes saying nothing but “Excuse me” to each other whilst trying to get past to reach the various toys we were playing with. There was near constant giggling.
I’m a hands on Dad and we have a great playtime relationship. Along with “Excuse me” her favourite question is “Will you play with me?”. I hear this a lot. Pretty much as soon as I walk through the door from a days work until it’s time to put her to bed. This of course is difficult at times because, being boring adults, we invariably have jobs to do around the house and it’s hard to explain this to a 4 year old who just wants to have fun with their parents.
This leads me on to a serious point of discussion. Where do you draw the line (as a working father) between playing with your child as much as possible and putting them in front of a TV/tablet. I’d say whilst this is a near impossible question to answer and is different for every parent I’m guided by the simple thought that we only get a finite amount of time to enjoy our children. Of course life needs to happen and jobs need to be done but wherever possible I try and engage with iBear as much as I can as I don’t ever want to look back and think about how much I wish I’d spent more time with her.
We have a ritual which must be followed I would say 8 times out of 10.
First, it’s time for ‘iBear’s jumping on the bed”. This game involves her dancing around on our bed whilst I get changed into my comfy clothes for the evening. Throughout this process we’re falling on each other, chasing each other around the room, pretending to go to bed and all sorts of other variations that has her squealing.
Then, if it’s bath night, the ‘La La La’ game. I spend an age wrestling her to get her clothes off and bringing her into the bathroom (while singing “La La La”). Then upon setting her down and turning away to check the water and get her shower gel out etc she sprints back into the bedroom where the whole process begins again.
After this it’s downstairs to play. She’s probably asked me a few times if I’ll play with her by now. I’ll ask iBear what she would like to play and most of the time it’s babies. I’ll make a separate entry for this so you can meet the family.
Once tea is finished and bedtime comes around it’s time for a story. We try to take it in turns reading to iBear and we’ve done this routine every night we can since before I can remember. It’s probably my favourite thing to do with her as she loves being read to and cuddles up tightly in her bed asking the same questions about each story over and over. She’s even memorised some of her books that well that she reads along with me!
Night night iBear, see you when the sun comes up.
Post originally written in my offline journal: 14/04/17