I was recently thinking about some of the more random moments I have experienced as a parent. For your enjoyment, I have listed five of my favourites here.
This is the kind of situation that is especially awkward for a stay at home dad. Well, any man to be honest.
When my eldest was quite a bit younger, she had been on a play date. While at her friend’s house she had changed clothes and for some unfathomable reason, managed to lose her underwear. When I came to collect her, we did a quick sweep of the house to try and find the missing garment.
Helen said she had changed in the master bedroom and showed me the way. Scattered across the floor were numerous pairs of pants of roughly the correct size. They were all screwed up and so it was impossible to tell what they looked like. I simply couldn’t recognise what I was looking at. Without thinking what I was doing, I started pointing them out one by one out: “Are these yours? Are these yours? What about these?”
The lady of the house was a very petite individual. After pointing out a few different pairs of knickers, I realised all the underwear was hers. Essentially, I was looking at several days’ worth of dirty laundry that had been spread across the floor instead of making it into the washing basket. As soon as the realisation hit me, I got out of that room rapidly before I could cause a scandal.
When blogging and parenting collide
Being a dad blogger means the world of parenting and blogging occasionally collide. This recently happened when I spent the day with a Brazilian film crew recording footage for a popular news programme called Profissão Repórter. Among other things, the show was exploring what life is like for a European stay at home dad, the concept being virtually unheard of in Brazil.
Late in the day, I was in the park with both my kids. Izzy, the youngest, was playing on a slide. The cameraman was doing a close-up of her face when she slipped and landed face first, cutting her lip.
I was a journalist in my younger days. I knew this was spectacular footage for the film crew. By allowing them to spend a day with me, I had given them carte blanche to record this stuff and so there was a good chance it would make it into the final edit.
My fears proved correct. You can see and read all about it here, Oh, you know I said the show is popular? Yeah, well only 20,000,000 Brazilians got to see Izzy’s moment of glory.
Boris The Spider
As with all families, the first day at school is a big deal. Helen’s was memorable for a variety of reasons. The drive to school, however, was of particularly note worthy.
There’s a very old song by The Who called Boris the Spider. As it mentions spiders, it has a certain appeal to kids and Helen has always liked the tune.
Driving to school for that first time, Helen wanted to listen to Boris the Spider. We duly obliged but she wanted it loud so loud you couldn’t hold a conversation and she asked for it to repeated again and again and again.
It was her first day at school so we weren’t going to say no. Even so, it was a very random journey indeed!
Here’s another personal injury story. Although this time I’m the one to get hurt.
Both Izzy and Helen love to swim. This would often lead to the kids becoming exceedingly excited at the sight of a swimming pool. Izzy is better at containing her excitement. Helen, meanwhile, especially when she was a beginner, was a massive ball of energy simply looking for release when presented with a pool.
When in the beginner’s class at the age of four, she would very often launch herself through the water, using me as a springboard. On more than one occasion she would launch herself up into the air so she could splash down again.
I want you to imagine all 17 kilograms of Helen launching herself up into the air and having the top of her head connect with my chin. I can confirm it is an odd and unpleasant sensation.
I now want you to imagine all 17 kilograms of Helen launching herself directly forwards. Oh yeah, sure, her head missed my chin, but the heel of her foot caught me right in the testicles.
This also happened many times, although she once did it right in front of her swimming instructor. As much as I tried to hide the wave of pain I was feeling, the instructor knew exactly what had happened and asked if I was okay. While her concern was appreciated, having a strange woman asking after the health of my genitals was a little awkward.
This story will become family folklore. Some years ago I went to pick Helen up from nursery.
I sensed something was awry as a couple of crying kids were sat against a wall being minded by staff. There seemed to be more staff in the room than usual and hair was scattered across the floor.
The most senior member of nursery staff came up to me straight away and started backing me out of the room before I could get right inside.
“There’s been an incident, a hair cutting incident,” she said.
My first thought was “Oh no, what’s Helen done?”
Turns out I’d got the situation back to front. While staff had been pre-occupied with a parent, a couple of Helen’s friends had given her a haircut of epic proportions. What had been shoulder length hair had been cut back to about two centimetres in places.
“She’s been left looking like a German exchange student,” was Mrs Adams’ observation.
While we had a laugh about it, the situation could have been very serious as they came incredibly close to cutting Helen’s ear. It caused something of a scandal within the nursery and staff were formally disciplined.
We had little option but to take Helen to a nearby hairdresser. An exceptionally skilled stylist managed to take Helen’s exchange-student hair and make her look presentable again. Even so, it was a long, long time until her hair grew back to the length it had been.
What about you?
Those are five random experiences I’ve had. What about you? Please do list yours below. I’d love to see how they compare.