‘I awake Pappa, Moomin’s awake, I awake, time to wake up, I awake Pappa’
The light starts getting too strong for the blackout blinds and Little Bear climbs into our bed and starts patting my head. I know that any movement will be an admission of being conscious, so I stay perfectly still, and naïvely believe that he will give up after a few minutes and let me go back to sleep. I slowly open one eye.
‘Now you awake Pappa! I awake! Weekabix! You awake Pappa! Mamma look! Pappa awake!’ and the wake up dance and jump on Pappa begins.
Getting out the door with a toddler is never easy. But when they’ve moved firmly into the ‘boundary testing stage’ at 2 and a half, it becomes all the more difficult.
Little Bear was happily riding his bike in the garden at nursery the other day when another kid, let’s call him Steve, started following him. Steve got closer and closer until he started playfully bumping into Little Bear’s bike and giggling. Should I intervene?
Maybe not, Little Bear is getting cross with Steve but no one’s getting hurt. In fact, Little Bear might even be learning some life skills about dealing with annoying people without parents swooping in. Maybe it’s an opportunity for him to learn how to talk to Steve and persuade him to- Wait! Little Bear’s buddy, Suzie, has just stepped in and pushed over Steve’s bike. Intervene? But how?
Suzie then takes Steve’s bike and rides off in victory shouting ‘My turn! My turn!’ Intervene? Hell no.
Nursery is a bit of a blind spot for parents. We spend every day following these tiny people around, monitoring their every nap, meal and nappy change, and getting enrolled into each tower building session and every repeat of the Hungry Caterpillar. Then, suddenly, we delegate this all to someone else. It’s like going into heart surgery. You’re suddenly trusting someone else to look after something that’s really quite important to you, and you’re not able to watch what’s going on when you’re doing it. I want to know what’s going on during this blind-spot.
I'm Dave, dad of Little Bear. Also known as 'Pappa' to the little man as we try and bring out his Swedish roots