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Like Father...

Updated: Oct 23, 2023

Noah is nearly 3. Already. They grow up so fast. You hear it all the time, don’t you. Turns out it’s because it’s true.

But you only get to realise it when it’s your own. Those photos from his first Birthday make me appreciate how quick the time has gone. They already feel nostalgic to me.

Was his hair really that blonde? Was there really a time he didn’t bomb around the front room at high speed? I’m a big believer that time to reflect, both alone and with your partner, is a healthy thing. Whether it’s the good, the bad, the big, the small, or maybe just the distant, the chance to discuss certain aspects of the parenting journey is always a healthy opportunity.

A chat with a colleague about this got me thinking about some of the best bits. Hard to bottle up and label, I know. But there are certain aspects of being a Dad to a 3 year old toddler that simply make my world a better one. In no particular order, here are some that come to mind.

1. ‘Come on Daddy, let’s play.’

I get to play a lot these days. Duplo, Toy Story, Paw Patrol, Blaze and the Monster Machines. I love it. When I think back to childhood and being spoiled rotten at Christmas, my memory transports me to watching my Grandparents walk down the drive with a giant bag in hand, the corner of a pristinely wrapped present peeking out. I knew it was Megatron. He’s still in my garage now, in fact. No longer pristine, not boxed and worth a fortune, but ready to hand down to my son when he comes of age and ready to understand the combined power of the Rangers.

Toys were a huge part of my life, from the shiny new latest release described above to picking up a second hand ageing Tie Fighter from the town market place. I loved it all. And here I am now, being asked to build a Duplo tow truck at 5:45am because there is paint on the road and Chase is stuck. At 38 years old, I am happy to oblige. Even if I really would have preferred the accident to happen just a tiny bit nearer to 6am.

2. ‘Anti Hero, please’

He knows my Spotify inside out. Sometimes he knows what song is coming next. Sometimes he hears the first few chords and repeats a lyric or the title. He’s 3 and he’s absolutely nailing the intro round. I did not see this one coming. He’s picked up on my obsession with Josiah and the Bonnevilles’ cover of Taylor Swift’s Anti-Hero and when I ask him if he likes it, he replies ‘yes’ with a beaming smile. His taste is already eclectic and he’s not fussy. You can call me Al, A Little Bit of Love and You Got a Friend in Me are some of the favourites. He’ll have his own pre-school drivetime playlist soon, I expect.

3. ‘You are welcome’

We try really hard to teach Noah of the importance of manners. Whether he’s asking for a packet of crisps or some more blueberries (he gets fiendish and has been known to polish off a whole pack at any given moment) he has gotten better at saying ‘please’ and gesturing cutely using the sign language that he learned at Nursery. His recent addition though, that I have to say is really nice, is his newfound understanding of ‘you are welcome.’ He rolls this one off now and, not only is it really lovely to hear, it shows that we are doing ok in our quest to create a polite and grateful little human.

4. Pizza Party!

He’s showing real interest in food now, which I love. Yes, in many respects he is predictable and will try all the persuasive tricks he can for a cheeky treat. But on the other hand, he is really enjoying helping prepare healthy family meals now. Last night he helped blend the sauce for the pasta, blissfully unaware that that ‘slime’ that would soon be nourishing his little belly was green due to the spinachy goodness within it. The night before he was spreading tomato puree onto a wholemeal wrap in preparation for a pizza party.

Cooking has always been a big part of my life and it is something I knew I could look forward to with Noah when he was old enough. I now find myself browsing through kitchen worktop steps to get him safely next to me while we prepare our family meals. And it’s an amazing feeling.

So there you go, 4 ways the little guy brightens up my mood just by growing and learning. There are so many more I could have chosen and I know I will inevitably add to the list soon.

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