Tag: proud dad

book, heavy, trilogy, paperback Blog

The Book and The Staircase

Having a toddler is fun. Much more fun than a baby. They are interactive and mobile. They live to learn, to explore. They have just begun the great journey of understanding the world around them and it is a delight to observe.


With exploration comes experimentation, and in Hannah we undoubtedly have a budding scientist. She observes and she examines everything in her world. For the past few months her favourite toys have been the ones that involve stacking or nesting objects.


Sometimes, however, the inquisitive mind of a toddler drives them to conduct “experiments” that have less than desirable outcomes for us adults. Experiments with food, excrement, paints and crayons are well documented by frustrated an bemused parents across the globe. Thankfully, we have not had too many of those yet.


Hannah’s latest series of experiments are firmly planted within the field of physics. She is obsessed by the movement of objects and she appears to have a burning desire to push everything within reach to its breaking point. Her mechanical toy train, for example, was recently placed on top of the lounge and then sent on its merry journey. As it recited the ABC, it elegantly performed a front half-flip and landed upside-down on the hard tiles – song still blaring in the vaguely annoying American accent. Hannah’s reaction to this was, of course, to immediately pick it up and try to repeat the process.


Today, Hannah decided to take her physics experiments to the next level. She had been sitting on the floor next to me, happily pulling novels off of the bookshelf while I sat and typed. This activity has never bothered me too much, she is normally reasonably delicate with the books, often choosing to flick through the pages or admire the pictures on the front covers.


However, this time she suddenly stood up. In her hand was The Bourne Trilogy – a hefty book. Purposefully, she looked out of the door and towards the staircase. A plan had formed in her mind – an experiment to test the effect of gravity on the humble paperback. In an instant, Hannah was off. Trailing close behind her was me. I had seen the look in her eye and almost immediately I knew what she was up to.


A part of me – the responsible, adult part of me – knew that the experiment had to be stopped. After all, children cannot be lefty to throw objects down stairs according to their whims. Imagine the chaos! Another part of me – the perpetually juvenile – insisted that the experiment be allowed to continue. What harm could come from it?


The adult side won the battle this time and so I called out to Hannah “stop, don’t throw the book”. Despite my speedy reaction, Hannah had reached the top of the staircase first. The sound of my voice had interrupted her, mid wind-up. Hannah turned around and faced me. Despite her young age and inability to understand the specific words, Hannah knows an instruction when she hears one. Comprehension dawned as she looked at me, then down as the book in her hands. She turned back to look at the staircase, then she looked back up at me again.


An internal struggle was undoubtedly raging in her little mind. It was written all over her tiny face. In direct competition was the burning desire to complete her experiment – to add to her growing neurological catalogue of “things that happen when I throw stuff”, while at the same time she wished to please the “bringer of afternoon snacks” (me) by doing as I asked.


“Can I please have the book?” I asked, while inching closer to Hannah, who was still standing in her commanding position at the top of the stairs. Once again she looked at me, at my outstretched hand. Once again, she turned back to look at the stairs. It was now or never. Shortly I would be in a position to grasp the book and the opportunity to conduct the experiment would be lost.


Hannah wasted no more time, she heaved the book above her head and hurled it with all her might. It spun through the air in slow motion and gracefully cleared the first five stairs. On the sixth it landed with a thud. The spine-side corner hit the steps. The pages splayed open. The book tumbled down a further four steps, then stopped.


Hannah smiled and let out a pleased sound. Her experiment was complete and the results were very satisfying indeed. I looked at her and tried to hide my smile. Despite my best efforts at presenting as an adult to Hannah, I had undeniably enjoyed watching the spectacular journey of the book almost as much as she had. Despite the hard landing, no damage had been done to the book. I appreciated that Hannah had formulated, then conducted an interesting experiment.


Do I want Hannah to throw books down the stairs on a regular basis? No, of course not. But I don’t believe she will. If she does persist with doing it, it is then my job to teach her that it is not appropriate. Some may suggest that I have made this task harder for myself by failing to stop it the first time, but I’m not so sure. My observations of Hannah to this point lead me to believe that she gets great satisfaction from turning the unknown into the known. It is possible that had I stopped her the first time, her desire to throw books down the stairs may have grown.


I could be wrong. Maybe I’ve created a monster. Time will tell…

Twin Mummy and Daddy
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Little baby girl, baby hand clenched fist tiny fingernails top 10 things new dads should know Blog

No Longer My Little Baby Girl

To my darling daughter,

I have come to realise something recently. It’s something that makes me feel slightly sad. Yet at the same time, it’s uplifting, exciting. I have come to realise that you are no longer my little baby girl.

I feel sadness because for the past 16 months, a tiny little helpless baby has been my whole world. I’ve adored you, I’ve soaked in your precious little features. I’ve watched and admired every little change, every development, every milestone. I’ve held you and talked to you, I’ve sung to you and played with you. All the while, you were my baby.

Now, quite clearly, you are not my baby. You are a toddler. A little girl who is very quickly growing. You have boundless energy, creativity, opinions and independence. You are in control and able to communicate your likes and your displeasure. This is all wonderful, it truly is! But a part of me will always hold dear the precious first few months of your life.

While I think back fondly to the incredible little baby you were, I also deeply love the toddler who you’ve become. You amaze me every day with something new. You freely share your smiles and laughter, and every time you do, it brightens up the world. You find pleasure in little things and you appear to enjoy the funny side of life! I hope that sticks with you as you grow. The world is already far too full of serious people doing serious things with serious looks on their faces. People who wouldn’t spot a joke if it fell on them like a grand piano – cartoon-style. But the world is a fun place and a funny place. It is yours to enjoy.

You are a great communicator. You make it clear what you want and when you want it. You are not afraid to ask for things or to put forward your opinion. Never be afraid to do these things. You express enjoyment, wonder and displeasure in the most clear ways. And you listen. I’ve never seen someone concentrate so intently on my face when I speak to them as you do. You want so much to understand every word that I say.

You love to move. The development of walking has opened up your little world and you take full advantage of it. You walk whenever you get the chance and you have no problem with covering large distances. You’ve even started moving very quickly. I feel that running is not far away.

One of your favourite things to do now that you are a toddler is read books. You climb up into my lap, on the chair in your room and you demand that I lift you up. Your eyes dart across the shelf until you find a book that takes your fancy. Your little hand shoots out and firmly grasps your prize. I lower you back into my lap and together we explore the book. Sometimes I read it to you from cover to cover. Other times you flick through the pages and we discuss the pictures. You know all sorts of animals and the sound that they make (although you still have trouble spotting the bees, even though you know what sound they make). Often, when one book is done, the request for a second is loud and immediate.

Sometimes you eat as much as I do! Your palate is fairly diverse, although you do have a tendency to favour carbs and dairy. You have excellent spoon control, although sometimes you try to fit far too much into your tiny mouth at once! I love sitting down with you and mum at meal time. I hope that as you grow, dinner will be a time to sit as a family and talk about all manner of things.

My darling girl, know that I loved the baby that you were, and the toddler that you are. Know that together we have created incredible memories, and that I appreciate every second that I have with you in the present. Little one, know that I look forward to the wide expanse of the future and all that it may hold for you. You may no longer be my little baby girl, but I will always be your dad.



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Megablocks, construction, blocks, car Blog

My Sunday Photo – From Destruction to Construction

My Sunday Photo for this week is of Hannah’s first Mega Bloks construction

This photo represents the reaching of a significant milestone for Hannah. It is a record of the first time that she has successfully constructed something with blocks.

She has been playing with blocks for a long time, but that play has involved watching me build things, then knocking them down. She has had destruction mastered for many months now. But this week, she took herself over to the block container and started building.

Every block on the contraption was placed there by Hannah. I was particularly impressed with how tall she made her tower. She was also tenacious in building it, as on many occasions it fell down. Each time, Hannah examined the pieces and found a better way to put them together.

When Hannah completed her construction, she drove it around for a while making ‘brmm brmm’ noises. As if I wasn’t proud enough already…


Megablocks, construction, blocks, car

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Guest post, Hannah, typing, keys Blog

Guest Post – Hannah

Every good blog publishes guest posts from time to time. It’s a good way of building networks and adding a more diverse range of voices and opinions to one’s work. It breaks up the monologue, which can become a bit stale, a bit repetitive, even a bit boring.

Hannah has been watching me work on my blog for a while now. I try to explain to her what I’m doing and she seems interested enough. But I have a sneaking suspicion that has more to do with the clicking buttons than the hilarious aspects of parenting that I’m constantly immortalising.

It has now reached the point where she clambers her way up into my lap, then reaches for the keyboard with tiny, sticky outstretched fingers. This has become somewhat of a hindrance to my writing, but it also serves the more useful purpose of pulling myself away from the computer and engaging with Hannah.

Today, however, I thought to myself ‘I wonder what Hannah would write?’

What a great idea! What could possibly go wrong? Hannah has been infatuated with the keyboard for a while now, why not give her free reign, and see what blogging gold she comes up with?


So here it is. The first ever guest post on Blog Of Dad – Hannah

Hannah is a 14 month old girl. Her real name isn’t actually Hannah, but due to a healthy dose of ‘privacy first’ from her father, she’s not allowed to use her real name on the internet until she is 25. We sat down for a question and response session. I asked the questions and she typed her answers.



Hannah, how do you like being a baby?

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What are your thoughts on nap time?



What are your goals in life?

,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, KKKK——]””’\                                                           LLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL=][[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[;. MMMMM/.M



Who is your favourite parent?




What are your thoughts on current geopolitical issues and what could be done to ease tensions in the South-China Sea, and on the Korean Peninsula?



*Section removed*





What is your favourite button on this keyboard?



Thanks Hannah. I think that has provided readers with a valuable insight into the life of a 14 month old. I will, however, have to have words with this ‘KiMMMM…’ person. How about you pick a biological parent next time…


I must admit that I have edited Hannah’s response slightly. The reason is that she somehow managed to paste sensitive information from a work email that I had just sent, into her response. While I was thoroughly impressed by Hannah’s newfound knowledge of keyboard shortcuts, I thought it best to remove that information.

To be honest, I don’t even know how she did it. I left her playing with the keyboard for a couple of seconds while I fetched the camera. When I returned, I was very briefly astounded by Hannah’s rapid improvement in spelling and sentence structure. Then I realised what had happened. Who knows what other mischief she got up to in that short time. I hope she didn’t email somebody…


I’ll leave you now with this parting comment, made by my wife, Emma, made when she read this post –


“Makes more sense than some of yours” – Emma


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First step, steps, stepping, baby, toddler, legs, walking Blog

The First Steps

Ah milestones. The bringers of great joy and anxiety.

Those of you familiar with this blog will know that I try to not take milestones too seriously. I have, more or less, held the view that things will happen with Hannah when they happen, and that I will enjoy the journey along the way.

I do, of course, encourage Hannah and I try to provide her with as much stimulation and support as possible, to build all of her skills. But what I don’t do is compare her growth to others, or stress when she isn’t the quickest to achieve a milestone. After all, Hannah has proven time and time again that she does these things on her own terms, when she is good and ready.

My resolve to ignore comparisons has only really been tested once – at a joint first birthday party for all of the babies in Emma’s Mother’s group. I was slightly taken back by all the standing and walking tiny tots, and I briefly wondered whether Hannah’s development was on track.

A quick check of the internet assured me that, as with all milestones, there is a wide window of normal development and Hannah sits well within that. Armed with the knowledge that Hannah still had several months before I needed to be in any way concerned, I got straight back into the job of enjoying each moment with my little girl.


The past Few Months…

My genuine belief is that Hannah has been capable of walking for a while now. She has always been keen on standing and, often when playing while standing, she had let go of furniture to pass toys between hands or reach for objects. She has demonstrated excellent balance and she is happy to walk for long distances, if she has a parent’s hands to hold on to. However, when it came to letting go intentionally, Hannah had so far been reluctant.

That all changed a few weeks ago. For the first time, Hannah pushed herself up off the floor, completely independently. The signs were there that she was nearly ready to give it a shot. Since that day, she had practised standing over and over and over again. She had even managed to turn it in to a game.

There were two things that struck me over the last couple of weeks as I watched Hannah practise – firstly, she is tenacious. Once she has an idea in her head or a goal in mind, she doesn’t give up on it easily. The second is that she does it all with a smile on her face. This little girl loves learning and I adore that about her.


Finally, on Easter Monday, the time came for her to give this walking thing a real crack. We were sitting around and enjoying good company. Hannah was doing her thing, furniture cruising and exploring her surroundings.

As I absent-mindedly watched her, Hannah let go of the furniture and took a step before grabbing back on. Just one. It happened quickly and it was one of those moments when you question what you saw.

“Did she just take a step?” I asked Emma and the rest of the family. None of us were too sure.

I sat down on the floor, a few small steps away from Hannah.

“Will you walk to me?” I asked. I held out my hands and, with a big grin, Hannah let go of the coffee table and took a couple of wobbly steps in my direction.

I could have rushed to get the camera before that, but I didn’t. I don’t really care that I didn’t capture this moment on film, because I was fully present when it happened. There will be plenty of other opportunity to record some wobbly stepping, but in that moment, I was just there to enjoy it and share it.

Hannah has stepped several times since. She is gradually building her confidence and, like with her standing, she practises when she wants and on her terms.

One final anecdote…

The second time that Hannah walked was the next day. Emma and I were playing with Hannah on the landing between the bedrooms of our townhouse. I was in Hannah’s room and Emma and Hannah were on the landing. Hannah scooted into her room at lightning pace (she is an incredibly quick crawler) and she shut the door behind her – this is the latest evolution in our never-ending games of hide-and-seek. After shutting the door, she stood straight up.

“Are you going to walk?” I asked Hannah. With a big grin she stepped forward. One foot, then the other. She walked a total of five steps.

“Open the door quickly, she’s walking!” I yelled to Emma.

Emma opened the door just in time to see a standing baby drop back onto her bottom, a big grin on her face. Due to Hannah’s love of all things hide-and-seek, Emma had just missed her best walking so far.


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Climbing a Stairway to Heaven

There’s a baby who knows that all slides are pure gold, and she’s climbing a stairway to heaven…

Hannah loves a good slide. She has done so ever since she was first introduced to them on our trip to Queensland. Since that first time, her mobility has developed to the point where she can navigate her way up steps, over platforms and onto slides independently.
As Hannah’s mobility has increased, we have gradually withdrawn our support. We have stopped placing Hannah at the top of slides, instead we leave her to find her own way. Hannah’s enjoyment of this process is obvious. She crawls around, explores, climbs, stops and watches other kids, and eventually she finds her way to the top. Once there, she is rewarded with one of her favourite experiences – a slide.
Today we stumbled upon a new playground. It was brilliant, except for one key feature. The way up to the slide. Instead of the usual, safe staircase, there was this…

stairs, climbing, playground, play, equipment, stairway
The staircase of doom

Degree of difficulty… high

It may be hard to fully assess the true level of difficulty that the ladder presented to anyone under the age of two from this photo, but it was high. In fact, my first thought was that it was impossible. I was sure that Hannah wouldn’t even try it, and that we would have to revert to placing her at the top if she wanted to slide.
I placed Hannah down on the soft-fall and watched for a while as she explored the ropes and around the base of the equipment.
Before long, she was at the ladder. She stood, with the bottom rung in her hands. I took it as an indication that she wanted to get up to the slide, so I moved in a bit closer. I was ready to help her after she realised there was no way for her to get up.
Much to my surprise (I really shouldn’t have been surprised, she has a proven history as a climber), she reached up and pulled herself onto the first rung, while holding the second. This was no mean feat – even with her tiny footprint, Hannah’s toes dangled precariously over the edge of the disproportionately thin step. Hannah appeared to feel a little insecure about her position for a few seconds as she fought to gain her balance, but then she appeared comfortable. I hovered behind, the nervous parent ready to catch his child, or help her off when she felt stuck.
Neither of which happened. Up she reached and, in an instant she was another step up.

climbing, stairway, playground, play equipment, play, stairs, baby, toddler, danger
Look at that stretch! Not bad for a 14 month old

The top of the contraption proved to be the trickiest part. Hannah spent a good while standing on the top rung and assessing her situation. There was no obvious way for such a tiny body to heave herself up onto the platform. Too high above, on the sides there were hand holes, but these were clearly designed for children with longer reach. All she has to work with was the smooth plastic platform that stretched out before her.
Eventually, through pure determination, Hannah managed to haul her little body onto the platform. There she sat for a few minutes, soaking it all in, enjoying her new-found perspective at the top of the world.


The Reward

After a while she crawled over to her ultimate reward – the slide. She edged her way onto it and, as she felt gravity take hold, she lay down on her stomach. With a big smile, she let go. A joyous squeal faded into the distance and Hannah was off.
Hannah immediately returned to the ladder, ready for round two. In total, she made her way up the ladder three times, for three slides down. This was not a lot of sliding in the hour in which we were in the park, but Hannah didn’t seem to mind. I could have picked her up and placed her at the top of the slide each time, and had it all over and done in a matter of minutes. However, I truly feel that the way we approached it resulted in a much more worthwhile experience for Hannah.



One Hull of a Dad
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