The perpetual panic of being a bad dad

It’s been a whirlwind month or so for my little fella. He’s gone from almost being able to crawl to covering ground like an Olympian, and now, as well as figuring out pulling himself on almost anything available, he’s testing out his balance by letting go too. Standing/toddling/walking is surely just around the corner.

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Each and every step of his journey to independence leaves me swelling with pride. Once he sets his mind to something he picks it up extremely quickly and he has started mimicking his mum and dad, from simple hand gestures to the tunes we sing to him in.

I won’t lie. It is difficult at times. With his new-found mobility comes a constant requirement to be near him incase he topples too far and bangs his head, and he’s completely obsessed with the dial on the radiator, which causes problems of its own.

His independence in getting around and standing also means that, if he’s not allowed to go wherever he wants, he quickly becomes frustrated and at times angry. It’s not fun stopping him from doing what he wants to do – though I dealt with an inconsolable young man the other day when I wouldn’t let him crawl head first down the stairs.

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It’s constantly stopping him though that’s had me panicking and inspired the title of this particular blog.

As he becomes more and more advanced, he needs more and more entertainment and stimulation – which I’m delighted about. But I’ve been finding myself struggling to keep him entertained. I run out of ideas – and things like reading to him are straight out of the window now. If he’s not allowed to sit up and be away whenever I’m holding him (tired at bed time aside) then he’s not happy. He really has become a little adventurer who constantly wants to explore and see things from his all-new standing perspective.

I don’t want this blog to sound like I’m complaining. Its sentiments couldn’t lie further from that. As I mentioned I’m incredibly proud of how he’s developing and at the ease of which he is doing so. I’m just worried that my failed attempts to keep him entertained – and to fulfil his needs of adventure make me less of a dad than I want to be.

It can be tough as I work long hours and don’t get home until the evening. It often means that food and our bath dominate the agenda – rather than the park or fun in the garden.

I’m grateful of every second that I spend with him, I just wish I could find ways to make it better for him. So I’m appealing for suggestions. How do you entertain an eight-month old who only has eyes on independence? How do you ensure they are safe and happy while chasing behind them every time they approach something to stand up against? And how do I be better at all this?

All comments and suggestions are happily received.

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