As parent bloggers, we often capture life’s extremes: the very best and worst of our children’s lives, from a first word or step to chicken pox and broken bones. But 99% of life is lived in the little moments – the ordinary, everyday things that happen between the big events that we rush to capture via the written word, photos and videos.
Life isn’t perfect, of course, but here are ten small things I love about my life as a dad at the moment. They may be inconsequential but they make me happy. And if they make me happy, they’re worth noting down for posterity, right?
1. When I’m home from work early enough to sit together on the sofa with all three kids and watch the latest episode of Danger Mouse. It’s one of a select few programmes in our household that qualify as ‘appointment TV’.
2. Kara’s enthusiasm for stories at bedtime, something she shares with both her brothers. She loves to be read to and once the lights have been switched off she will go to sleep surrounded by books. They’re like a comfort blanket to her.
3. Yes, they do fight as well, but in those moments when the kids are happily playing together it reminds us that we must be doing something right as parents.
4. Something else we must be doing right as parents: like any modern kids, ours are extremely tech-savvy but they enjoy playing old-fashioned card and board games as much as they like Minecraft or driving games. Well, almost as much.
5. When I walk in the door in the evening, the first thing that happens without fail is that a squealing, whirling dervish of a three-year-old girl will run excitedly up to me shouting, “Daddy! Daddy!” and throw her arms around me.
6. He may be (a) nearly eight and (b) a boy, but Isaac is in many ways still the sweet, affectionate little kid he was when he was three. We were going to the park the other day, and he spontaneously and unselfconsciously slipped his hand in to mine as we walked together. Sometimes words aren’t even necessary.
7. It doesn’t happen as often as it used to, but just occasionally all three kids will burst into song together in perfect (dis)harmony on long car journeys. Or every now and then one of them will wander around the house singing under their breath. (In Kara’s case, it’s currently most likely to be the Danger Mouse theme.) None of them are ever going to win X Factor, but it’s still fun to hear.
8. Toby’s the creative one of our children. Whenever he’s produced a new drawing or a freestyle Lego construction or something new that his hands have conjured up from his fertile imagination, there’s always that glimmer of doubt in his eyes when he’s seeking feedback and hoping for praise. When he gets it, that moment when his eyes light up in advance of the smile forming on his lips is the most satisfying thing to see.
9. Kara is currently sleeping in our bed and often when we’re getting in to bed she will half wake up and sleepily demand, “Mummy/Daddy, snuggle” from us. It’s the cutest thing ever.
10. Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy are still real. Toby lost his first tooth recently and his excitement at the Tooth Fairy’s visit was on a level with the time he spotted a Ferrari on the M4.
Maybe the best thing of all is that, for all the times that we tell them off when they’re naughty or we are less than perfect as parents ourselves, they still love us as much as we love them. There are few things that a hug cannot solve. I hope that never changes.
What about you? What are the ordinary things that happen in your household that are cause for celebration?