Yeah I said it. I see a lot of talk of new parent ‘baby’ excitement on the internet. A plethora of ‘firsts’ being looked forward to; giggles, words, steps, piano symphonies, whatever. I’m more about the long con. Babies are alright, I’ll love all of mine (yes I’m planning more already) unconditionally and will never see them harmed but I’m also fully and gleefully able to admit that for the initial months (years?) together they’re ugly, crying, demanding and expensive poop and vomit factories. What really warms my cockles is all the things I’ll be sharing with my son when he’s old enough to know that soiling oneself is neither fun nor remotely acceptable. Here are 5 things I literally do have to wait for (but don’t want to have to!) because we can’t skip the baby stage:
I’ve been to a few places in my time, none particularly exotic but places nonetheless… Belgium, Italy, Greek Islands, Canary Islands, Switzerland, and some of the usuals like Spain, France etc. They’re nice holidays, and I enjoy them a bunch, but forget them. Here’s where it’s at:
Florida! Specifically the over-the-top (British) tourist capital of the East US of A. Disney, Universal Studios, Busch Gardens, Gatorland, Clearwater
Bay, International Drive, race tracks, big cars, as-friendly-as-they-come people and a feeling that I’m the most important person in the world for the short time I’m there. Say what you like about Americans (most of it probably unfounded, meet a few before you judge a nation on a few nuts) but they do customer experience like no one else. Here, watch this video if you’re interested in what I mean. Let’s just not judge them based on their video quality, because it’s shocking in this example. I want that experience to be something my son will remember forever. I do, and it’s turned me into a lifelong fan.
So this one isn’t in a fancy place (Nottingham amongst others, lol) but Center Parcs parks were a marvel to young me. I’d spend all year looking forward to our annual trip (for my birthday :)) so I could go in the ‘sub-tropical’ rapids, ride my bike everywhere without fear of traffic, play in the ‘wild’ jumping over streams and gawping at wildlife (check out the red squirrels in the Whinfell park, or their badger nightvision webcam accessible from the lodge TVs), do circus workshops or ride quad bikes, loose (it means shoot, in archery terms) arrows or take part in Robin Hood banquets. You get the point – there’s a LOT going on to keep a young lad entertained. Bike riding will be a big part of Mason’s quality father/son time, bring it on!
This one ties in slightly to some Center Parcs activity but it’s wider, and taller, than that. I’m a huge video game fan, they’re my number 1 entertainment choice when I’m indoors (TV is too non-interactive for me, short attention span) and I want to pass that love on, but that won’t be the bulk of my kids fun-time. Outdoors is a magical place, filled with smells, grazes, challenges, sunshine, rain, falls and thousands of other experiences that make long lasting memories. I’ll be teaching him how to make tree houses, we’ll be going camping and crabbing and swimming in waterfalls, climbing mountains and picking up bugs. Amy’s gonna have a lot of laundry to do (sexist, sue me :P).
Teaching him things
I naturally enjoy showing people things, watching them learn and learning things myself in the process. It comes with 2 glaring issues though.
- Most adults don’t like to learn new things. They don’t like to be told they’re doing things wrong, or that they’ve spent 28 years not knowing something simple.
- I don’t have the patience to put this love of teaching into practice with people. I mean, I have it for some people; I have all the patience in the world for Amy, and I will for Mason, but most people? Nah, they wind me up.
Now I’ll be able to teach Mason things and he won’t even be able to escape! Bwahaha.
I hated homework when I was younger, really REALLY hated it. But now? Well excited! For science!
Playing video games together
I said it earlier and I’ll say it again – gaming is the absolute best way to spend some down time without your mind turning to reality TV mush (in my opinion, YMMV). I had a great mum growing up, in this respect. She’d buy me consoles without me asking for them (or sometimes even knowing they existed, I wasn’t a well informed child), but better than that? She’d spend time playing games with me. She wasn’t brilliant at them, bless her, but she tried. And I loved it. I’ll be doing that with Mason, but we’ll actually rival each other (when he’s older anyway, gonna DOMINATE until then ;)).
Lego, Hot Wheels, Remote controlled stuff
Toys, the shiny lovely items I see in shops and on Amazon but currently have zero legit reasons to buy. Screw that, I’m relapsing and I’m setting up a badass Hot Wheels track around our house. Amy, move those shoes we’ve got a race to coordinate.
I just wish Micro Machines were still around. Choking hazard shmoking hazard.
Don’t pretend I’m the only one thinking this – what’re you wishing away your kids early years in anticipation for?