climbedon

Daddy climbing frame

There are things I do in the line of duty as a stay-at-home dad that I wouldn’t necessarily share with my mates down the pub (on those increasingly rare occasions I can attend social gatherings). Don’t get me wrong, there’s much about being a father that is wonderfully fulfilling but when it comes to childcare, especially with a daughter, any macho pride has to be left at the door in favour of being entertainer-in-chief and dogsbody to the whims of a toddler.

Clambering inside soft play areas

Tilly is getting increasingly competent at soft play challenges but there remain some obstacles that are impassable for her diminutive stature. When this occurs, assuming a kind older child is not on hand to help out, daddy gets called upon to rescue and accompany her around the rest of the climbing frame. Picture a fully grown man trying to squeeze through a course design for the under 9s and you’re in for a comedy treat, not least when you have to negotiate your way around and apologise to other children climbing their way around rather more ably than yourself. Accompanying Tilly down the slides is rather fun though and is received with sympathetic smiles from other onlooking parents.

Being a climbing frame

Any passers-by who unwittingly gazed into our living room might well spot a toddler climbing on my head, sitting on my shoulder like a parrot, riding me like a horse or bouncing on top of me on the floor. This is, I suspect, all to make up for the absence of soft play facilities at home.

Doing Yogo

While Yoga can be an elegant discipline when carried out correctly, any attempt of my own would succeed only in making hippos in tutus appear delicate in comparison. Although thankfully not a public spectacle, the Cbeebies bedtime hour in our house frequently involves my daughter and I taking part in the Yogo element of Waybuloo, which is essentially yoga for toddlers. Happily, being only two, any absence of grace and poise on my part is overlooked by Tilly and my efforts are still appreciated rather than ridiculed. This is, however, perhaps only to guarantee that I continue fly her around the room to join the floating piplings for the ‘Buloo’ as the programme closes. (This makes sense if you watch the programme. Sort of.)

Causing a scene in public

Although generally well-behaved, toddler Tilly will occasion make a dash towards the road leading me to leap to grab her, letting go of the invariably overloaded pram which then tips backwards catapulting shopping and half eaten toddler food across the pavement. Always a great moment.

Encountering other people on the street

Being British I am extremely apologetic all of the time for a great many things, even if they’re not my fault. Having an extremely forthright and talkative toddler in tow means that decorum goes out the window. Tilly will bellow her observations at any number of passersby but short of shouting an apology across the road myself, there’s little I can do but to don a pained expression on my face. Woe betide should anyone deign to use the same public byway as my daughter. “Go away man! My pavement!” is the dismissive response. Yes, I lecture her after every event but sharing takes time. Going to the library is a similarly fun experience, when Tilly chooses to bellow across the building: “Hello! I am buying books!” I can at least whisper a pathetic “sorry” to the staff.

How do your children embarrass you? Leave a comment and share your experiences!

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19 thoughts on “5 embarrassing duties of a stay-at-home dad

  • 30 April 2015 at 3:46 pm
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    my son is fascinated with willies at the moment and everytime we go to the toilet he asks if I have one and why haven’t I got one, and what do girls have mummy!

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    • 30 April 2015 at 3:49 pm
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      That’s awkward! I’m sure we’ll have the same before long!

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  • 1 May 2015 at 7:49 am
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    Oh I feel your pain. I wonder at what age my children will develop their Britishness and start apologising for simple activites such as walking through doors and passing people in the street?

    My ultimate shame was when Sally called me into the soft play to accompany her down a particulalry large slide. A queue of expectent children formed behind me until I had to admit it was too steep for me and she would need to get Daddy instead!

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  • 1 May 2015 at 7:06 pm
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    Aww, completely understandable! My eldest when he was starting to talk would shout out his version of clock (without the L) in the bank, I would just say ‘yes, that’s a clock, a CLOCK! 🙂

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    • 5 May 2015 at 8:21 am
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      Yikes, that is awkward. We’ve had a few occasions of her using words that sound like something else, but happily not too often so far. Thanks for popping by the blog!

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  • 1 May 2015 at 9:03 pm
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    Haha, my 6’4″ husband won’t go in the main bit of the soft play area with our son, he just knows he’d get stuck somewhere! I think the most embarrassed I’ve been was when my, very affectionate son, told a contractor doing work on our house that he loved him! Hard to have to explain to him that you can’t just say that to anyone!

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    • 5 May 2015 at 8:23 am
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      Little ones can be real sweeties, can’t they, but when it’s combined with no sense of decorum it can have embarrassing results. At least it’s easy to shrug away when they’re so small! Thanks for visiting the blog!

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  • 1 May 2015 at 10:36 pm
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    Haha – this fills me with fear and excitement in equal measures for what I have in store in a week 🙂

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  • 2 May 2015 at 6:06 am
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    Yogo is a new one to me…but rescuing child from soft play is a regular occourence! Great phot in the Times by the way! Pleasure to have met you during the photo shoot. #TheList

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  • 2 May 2015 at 9:48 am
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    lol all sounds about right! Worst is if they make observations about the person who’s come over to talk to you, in front of the person. That can be embarrassing. #BigFatLinky

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    • 5 May 2015 at 8:25 am
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      Straight from the mouths of babes. I’m sure we’ll have some awkward moments in the months to come. Thanks for visiting!

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  • 2 May 2015 at 12:13 pm
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    I love that little kids have no filter, I think it is great that they point and stare at people who drop litter or park badly (I go very un-British and don’t apologise). But I do feel many of your other embarrassments 🙂

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    • 5 May 2015 at 8:26 am
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      Haha, yes perhaps we can train them to shame those people we wouldn’t have the courage to tackle ourselves, such as litter droppers! Thanks for visiting!

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  • 2 May 2015 at 1:08 pm
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    Fab post, made me chuckle. I can really relate to this. Our son loves shouting about sticks… Except he usually replaces the ‘st’ with ‘d’ so more regularly shouts about finding a big dick in the woods…

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    • 5 May 2015 at 8:27 am
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      Ooh, that’s awkward. Hilarious and cringeworthy all at once. Thanks for visiting the blog.

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  • 2 May 2015 at 3:46 pm
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    One of mine opened the loo door in the leisure centre this wee when I was mid wee! #bigfatlinky

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    • 5 May 2015 at 8:29 am
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      Yikes – not good! Day-to-day tasks certainly take on a whole new level of challenge when there’s toddler wrangling involved. Thanks for visiting.

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  • 3 May 2015 at 9:00 pm
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    I am glad it is not just me that has to go down the slide with Baby in soft play. Yes to the climbing frame and on occasion I am also a trampoline! Thanks so much for linking up to #TheList x

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  • 5 May 2015 at 6:30 am
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    Oh yes, a regular soft play rescuer here, generally wearing a dress and right up to 9 months pregnant. That was not dignified! #bigfatlinky

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