Guilty pleasures I have as a parent

Being a parent is a funny old game. Just last night I found myself watching television with the kids. It was a show almost 25 years old that I avoided in my youth because I thought it was dire. Second time around, it had me laughing out loud. I think I have no choice but to add this show to my expanding list of guilty pleasures, pleasures I have been introduced to because I am a father.

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Shhh. Don’t tell anyone I’ve been watching The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, okay?
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Is it wrong to make children aware of your stress?

If there’s one thing guaranteed to make a parent feel stressed, it’s when their offspring accidentally hits another child on the head. This is exactly what happened at the swimming pool the other day when Izzy, my youngest daughter lost control of a ride-on toy boat she was using and, bump, collided with a small boy in the pool. As the responsible adult overseeing my child’s behaviour, I felt the need to apologise and give the boat to someone else, all the while my stress levels were going through the roof.

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Is it wrong to tell your child when they are making you feel stressed? Pic credit: Max van den Oetelaar on unsplash.

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Five random parenting moments

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.

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I have had many random experiences as a father. Here are five of them.

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One after school activity too many

There have been some awkward conversations with the children over the past couple of weeks. They have revolved around the various clubs and activities they both participate in. Unfortunately, something has got to give and the activities may have to be rationalised.

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Helen wants to start learning the piano, among many other things. Oh, yeah, and her sister is also developing some hobbies.

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Swimming and a strange sense of déjà vu

I had a strange sense of déjà vu the other day. I was Taking Izzy, our youngest daughter, to her beginners swimming class. It was like travelling back in time to when I did the same with Helen, her older sister.

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Considering my two children have such different characters, it’s a joy to discover they both love swimming so much.

As it was with Helen, swimming with Izzy is incredibly good fun. The past few months have been manic and Izzy hasn’t received the parental attention she deserves. Here we both were, in the water together having great fun in each other’s company.

I say in each other’s company, we obviously weren’t alone. The rest of the group were with us but it was definitely one on one time.

That kid has a wonderful character. When she’s doing something she enjoys she is such fun and we were having the time of our lives during that swimming lesson.

It was a very similar thing when Helen was younger. One morning each week, I would take her swimming and she loved it. Helen was so fearless that we simply had to get her lessons. She’s now an incredibly able swimmer and more than capable of diving into the deep end and doing 25metres unaided.

As a parent, I’ve learned that history rarely repeats itself. The first day at school for one child is completely different to the next child’s. One child gets chickenpox really badly, the next one gets it very mildly. One child is right handed, the next one is left handed etc.

This swimming thing, however, is proving to be a very similar experience with both my kids. It’s a pleasure, an honour, in fact to bond with them in this way.

Although it is a remarkably similar experience, there are two definite differences. The first one relates to the post swimming nap. When I took Helen swimming, I could be guaranteed that she would nap for three hours later in the afternoon. Yes; three whole hours.

Izzy simply won’t nap. I wish she would because she sometimes get very tired indeed, but it just doesn’t happen.

The other difference relates to confidence. Helen has always been confident in the water. She is now quite adept at swimming out of her depth and the last time I spoke to her swimming teacher she made a comment about her doing synchronized swimming lessons.

Izzy has had several years of watching her older sister swim. Whereas Helen was confident, Izzy is a nutter and thinks she can do anything.

In fact, we had to have words the other day. Without telling me what she was going to do, she climbed out the pool at the end of the lesson with the rest of the kids. She then turned round and jumped straight back in the water where she was just out of her depth.

Luckily I was right next to her so simply hauled her straight back out. Stern words were had, that I can tell you.

Not that this really had any bearing on the situation, but Helen never did anything like this when she was a beginner. I guess it just shows that two sisters can be very different.

Regardless of their different approaches, it’s marvelous to spend time with the kids doing something they love. It has just come as something of a surprise that, with their differing characters, they love swimming so much.