Sometimes I know I’m not being the best dad that I can be for Hannah.
Sometimes I get distracted.
Sometimes I have a sneaky peak at the internet when Hannah wants me to play.
Sometimes I try to feed Hannah stuff that I wouldn’t eat, while I eat something far more tasty and far less healthy.
Fortunately for me, I have a clever daughter. She’s only 11 months old, but she watches. She listens. She observes. She thinks. She knows what’s going on, sometimes far better than I do.
Sometimes, when I’m not being the best dad that I can be for Hannah, she lets me know all about it.
Sometimes, when I get distracted by my grown-up thoughts and worries, Hannah takes me by the hand and pulls me back into her world. Back into the game with the blocks or the ball. Back into the pure enjoyment of the simplest things in life.
Sometimes, when I try to have a sneaky peak at the tablet, Hannah makes a bee-line for the stairs. She knows that as soon as she reaches them, she has my full and undivided attention. She climbs up the first four steps, then turns around to make sure I have followed. She looks at me and smiles. Then she gives a little giggle and takes off up the stairs at full speed, safe in the knowledge that she’s engaged me in yet another game of chases. She reminds me that in a world of breathless, click-bait headlines, happiness will never be found online, but it is most easily found in a squealing, giggling cuddle at the end of a good chase.
Sometimes, when I’m feeding Hannah lentils and green beans while I chow down on some fried chicken, she sticks her tongue out so that all of the food falls off her spoon. She cranes her head to see what is on my plate. She reminds me that she is a little human-being, who is forming opinions, likes and dislikes. She reminds me that I’m a big human being, who should be setting a good example for her. She reminds me that I can easily make food that is both healthy and delicious for both of us.
My baby daughter is training me to be a better dad and for that, I thank her very much.