June 4th 2017
Today we went to the zoo with a friend and her two kids.
It was my job to look after the older of the two, Lilly. I’m really not great with babies because they’re so small and fragile and I think I’m going to drop/break them, but Lilly is almost 4, so she’s a lot bouncier.
I basically had to do that classic Dad thing of carrying her around on my shoulders all day.
It was the first time I’ve ever carried a child on my shoulders, and I only nearly dropped her once, so I think I did pretty well. Carrying her around I learnt quite a lot about parenthood, and it can basically all be summed up in this one image:
Parenthood is sacrifice. Parenthood is selflessness.
I couldn’t see through the hole in the wall because I was holding her up – so that she could. You give up your fun so that the kid can have fun.
I barely saw any animals today because I was watching her. I’ve been to that zoo so many times, but today I got to see it through her eyes.
When I was a kid and we went to Florida on family holidays, my Mum would never go on any of the rides. She said that for her, the enjoyment came out of watching us kids have fun. I experienced a little bit of that today. For the first time, I wasn’t there to have fun myself.
Let me tell you though, it’s knackering, and I only had to do it for four hours.
I call myself a runner, but Lilly outpaced me over 10 yards no problem. And as soon as they’re ten yards away you’ve got an issue. You can never let them leave your sight. That’s why it was easier to just carry her on my shoulders.
One benefit of taking a kid to the zoo though is that you get to have a go on the slide without it being weird.
As a kid, one day you stop going on slides. And you never get to go on a slide again – until you have kids of your own.
You also get to go on the train. We’ve not been on the train in ages!
So, you know, there’s sacrifice, but it also seems quite rewarding.
That being said, I was a fake-Dad for all of four hours, and I went straight home to sleep – exhausted. They just don’t stop. They run and they run and they run. And they never get bored of doing the same things over and over again. And it’s tiring. I can’t imagine what it would be like having to do it everyday.
Until tomorrow, selflessness and sacrifice.