There are lots of things that make us happy. I am at my happiest just after Mr. T has gone to bed and I can get a beer and my wife can have a glass of wine (or two). But that doesn’t really count because one of us is asleep and who knows what dreams ir nightmares he is facing.
When we have a nice day and we can get out as a family makes us all happy. We recently went to a city farm and Mr. T had a great time feeding all the animals and running about in the grass. While we are all happy the grown ups have to still be aware of the Peppa Pig that might bite his hand off or the latest incarnation of Red Rum who might be about to jump over the biggest fence ever and stampede in our direction. (I have cousin who is afraid of any bird bigger than a chicken and so has never been able to go to a city farm because of all the ducks and geese.)
Mr. T is extremely happy when I am his horse and he can ride around on my shoulders. It is one of my favourite things about being a dad of a toddler, but it does get tiring after a while and then I have to deal with the cried of ‘more daddy, please!’ So I know there is going to be a come down even in the midst of the enjoyment. Added to this is that my wife is prone to have a dodgy back and so can’t join in the fun as she might like to.
We did use to have a lot of fun when going out for walks when we would have Mr. T in the middle of us and swing him up in the air by his arms. But then one day not so long ago, while playing a different and totally innocuous game, Mr. T dislocated his elbow and so now we are too afraid to play this game anymore.
Not quite at this level yet. (Wikipedia)
The thing that makes us happiest as a family, the thing that is guaranteed to get everyone laughing and jumping around, is to have a good old-fashioned dance. When Mr. T was still a baby I used to bounce him up and down on my knee when watching Sesame Street videos on youtube, or I would sing to him and jump around the room with him in my arms.
A couple of months ago he started to get off the sofa whenever he heard the ‘Hot Dog’ song for Mickey Mouse clubhouse and rock gently from side to side. This has since developed so that any song with an upbeat rhythm is likely to get him going, spinning around and waving his hands in the air. I am pleased to report that he seems to have learned all his moves from his dad. (Either that, or I dance like a toddler, I am not sure which.)
We have a little stereo next to his changing mat and we put an old iPod there with random songs from our collections. He knows which buttons to press to turn it on and how to skip a track if he doesn’t approve of our choices. In the last few weeks he seems to have taken a particular liking to almost any song by The Jam. It is becoming a family tradition to have a little dance after we have finished changing his nappy, and there aren’t many tunes better than Going Underground to get us all in a good mood.
I'm the head of the Cooper heard. My wife and I moved abroad when our first son who came along in May, 2011. I am a typical Brit abroad with a family to raise and am sharing the journey of the expat life abroad.
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