This week has been a great week for lots of different reasons.
The biggest thing for us this week was driving a 416mile round trip from Kent to Derby over two days for my cousins 21st birthday. It was an absolutely brilliant time. I’m currently sat on the sofa back at home writing this and I’m in and out of an out of body experience through tiredness. Boy, it was a fun time!
It was great seeing family and celebrating my cousins 21st, on top of this Bear (our little boy) was absolutely amazing! I know this is a parent thing to say but I don’t care!
Getting ready to leave I was apprehensive about a lot of little things:
- Would Bear cope with the 3hr drive?
- What about the number of people with Bear, this could overwhelm him?
- How would Bear cope with not being in his own bed?
Essentially panic, panic, panic….
I realised two things on the drive up:
- In the above Bear should be replaced with ‘I’. I was the one who was really worried about the above.
- The more I panicked internally, the more I had an adverse effect externally.
I shouldn’t have worried at all. Bear was absolutely amazing!
Honestly Bear was amazing. Once Bear got over the initial shyness, expected of a 3-year-old meeting lots of adults for the first time, he began to boss the environment.
No shyness and complete confidence!
At the peak of the party, he was bossing the 19 and 23-year-old cousins to play rescue and ‘find carrots’ and even made them be characters from Paw Patrol!
It was such a fulfilling and thrilling thing to witness. I watched my Bear be an individual and his own person. The way he was conversing and discussing the imaginary carrots was such a high for me.
When we transitioned from playing to bedtime routine albeit at a later time. He was in complete control. Despite the later time (2030 rather than 1930) Bear took it all in his stride. All this has made my week. It was the cherry and sprinkles for sure!
Driving back I also took a huge lesson from the weekend. Not just, guess what we’re all getting old!
It’s not fair on either you or your little one to panic about things especially when you transfer your panic on the little one as I did. To coin a management phrase; don’t sweat the small stuff!
I was putting my panic onto the Bear, this was not fair. I was panicking and it was affecting my mood unnecessarily. As soon as I realised what I was doing on the drive up, analysed my behaviour and attitude a huge wave of relief washed over me and this made me enjoy the weekend even more.
As parents, we will, of course, panic, what I learned, however, is there are genuine panic situations and there are the situations where I displace my panic onto others so I feel better.
This weekend has been a valuable lesson for me. I can focus on my growth and challenge my comfort, this doesn’t stop my insecurities and my deflection cause other people to have an ‘issue’ rather than seeing it’s me.
Every day that my Bear gets older is a day I get more experienced as a dad; I’m learning so much more about myself for the better and one thing I learned through this little road trip, not to project my anxieties onto Bear.
It’s my issue, not his.
A letter to my Monkeybear
I hope you read this one day. Thank you for making me be a better person and better dad.
Bear, you teach me far more than I am teaching you (for now, you wait till I try and teach you about construction!).
I will try and see the lessons you are teaching me and hold on to them and learn from them.
Panicking will be limited, I am your dad, it’s part of the deal! I promise to do my best not to let this affect you or your mum.
Thank you Bear.