(Daddy makes a mental note)
Sometimes in a child's life, it is the most insignificant moments that we may grow to cherish in time to come. The daily feeds, the daily baths, or even the daily tantrums - they may seem mundane or troublesome now, but 10 years down the road, I will think I will miss these tiny moments more and more.
And better yet if these tiny moments are as a result of shared experiences between both parent & child, because the impact of these moments will be magnified, creating lasting beautiful memories.
And even better yet, if Daddy is the one making those memories. Yes, I'm biased.
So I have compiled a list of activities I, as a Dad, should do with my kids through their growing years:
Make it a routine to read aloud with your child.
I am not a ferocious reader to begin with, so as much as I wanted to read a book to my boys every night before bedtime, ill-discipline got to me first. Luckily, the wifey was a great help and we do now share a good book together on a regular basis. I think it can only get better when the boys progress to Lord of the Rings.
2. Playing silly together
It can be a game of tag, hantam bola or just tickling each other silly.
Somehow, Dads are more conditioned to be 'rougher' than Mums and for a good reason too. Nowadays, when Ash & Ayd ask me to 'play' with them, what they really mean is to have a good wrestling match on the mattress. And I try not to retain the championship belt everytime. Heh.
3. Dad's exclusive day
Set aside a full day to spend with your child on a one-to-one basis.
This isn't something new, but it is something that I must do more on a regular basis. Especially for Ayd, because through him I can see what the 'middle child syndrome' is truly all about. Ash, being the eldest, has the largest share of first-hand experiences like going to Primary school & losing his baby teeth. While Ale, being the baby of the family, has the largest share of cuddles and attention. So it isn't any wonder that Ayd has sometimes resorted to outbursts and temper-throwing antics to get our attention.
Luckily for Ayd, my next date with him is coming this Friday!
4. Learning to ride a bike
The euphoria shared between both Dad & child when the kid is finally able to ride on 2 wheels cannot be described, and for sure it will make for a lasting memory in years to come.
Still a work-in-progress for Ash, but that can be attributed to the fact that I have not been putting him on his training bike on a regular basis. So I have set a personal goal for the both of us - ride that bike before the June school holidays are up.
There are tons of things that perhaps Mums can do better than Dads, but I reckon roughing it out in a tent isn't one of them. And no, setting up a tent in the living room with the air-con on doesn't quite cut it.
6. Learning to tie a tie (for the boys)
There are certain rites of passage that a boy must pass before he attains manhood and learning how to tie a tie is one of them.
I think the bonding further cements when Dad coaches his son on the way to tie a tie, and gives him that seal of approval when he finally masters the task. I, for one, refuse to learn any other way of tying my tie because I still remember how my Dad used to teach me when I was young.
7. Dancing (for the girls)
Perhaps it's only more prevalent in the West that a Dad dances with his daughter, especially during her wedding. But I would like to think it encompasses even a silly dance at home in front of the telly, or maybe learning a new dance together. Excluding ballet, that is.