The word “why” has definitely arrived in our house, primarily via Daughter #1 (who understands what it means, if not always when to use it) but also #2, who has taken to mimicking her sister in the traditional way (with little apparent understanding of its meaning). There is almost no situation where it cannot be asked, including why people are called a particular name, why it is getting dark, why it is lunchtime, why we have a shed and so on. Some are easy, some difficult, and some I have little idea about how to go about answering. The easiest question to ask is usually the most difficult to answer when a little one is asking.
Routine has, perhaps with some trepidation, fully taken over in terms of full-time dad-hood, a necessary evil when managing small kids which has the combined effect of making time pass quickly and making it somewhat boring (think Groundhog Day). The challenge, as it is for all parents, is maintaining the routine for naps, mealtimes and bedtime whilst keeping things interesting for both kids and parents. Whilst the weather is wet (often during spring) this is harder, but now the sun is shining relatively frequently and the temperatures are up, getting out and about is the way ahead for getting kids fulfilled and tired. Whenever possible the car is to be avoided, and having a decent bike trailer can allow transportation and napping at the same time. Magic.
Cycling locally is challenging in itself, not least because the majority of development near where we live happened in the 1970s when cycling wasn’t a “thing”. Hence all the pathways are narrow and often have steps and/or offset barriers, making them un-navigable for me and my passengers (as well as some pushchairs and mobility scooters). Not much to be done about this either when the council doesn’t have enough money (or so they say) to maintain the existing infrastructure. Thanks austerity.
However, summertime allows such fun as splash-pads, picnics, camping and the beach – great news for little people and parents alike. Just as the sun reveals more of the pasty-white skin of the British populace, it gives me more opportunity to indulge in extra people watching (my current favourite hobby). I have seen some interesting things, some quite unbelievable. Of particular note was an incident at the splash-pad on a hot day recently… I watched a child relieve themselves (number one) in full view of the world, stark naked, with no sense of anything unusual having occurred. It was not a baby or toddler, but a four or five year old – I scanned around the assembled parentage and soon identified the progenitor. Not a blink, despite apparently watching the entire episode. I questioned myself – is pissing in the splash-pad ok, even if you are four? Is tacitly condoning it ok too? Errr, no it is not. And I know that I should have confronted the parent to say that it is not ok, but it was a nice sunny day and they were bigger and tougher-looking than me (not going to say if they were mum or dad). Just move my kids around to the other side of the splash-pad, easy.
Next job – to get a job (i.e. one that pays). The year of living the dream is rapidly drawing to a close and the return to paid employment looms ever closer, good opportunity to advertise my imminent availability (all positions considered)… the countdown to October is on.