Don’t Eat Bees…


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May 19, 2011Letters to LaurenNo comments

… Eat bubbles!

A simple statement – said by you to Hooch our dog, as she chased around the garden after a bee. A bee so engorged by a feast of nectar from our neighbour’s garden, that it could barely lift itself above and beyond the snapping jaws of the chasing hound.

There is clearly context to this episode – for Hooch likes to eat, or at least pop bubbles as they float around the house – blown either by you or the machine that gives amusement to you both. They can’t taste nice. We did buy bacon flavour bubble liquid, though I’m not sure if that’s advisable for either of you.

So as Hooch tried in vain to capture, and then eat the partially flying blur of fuzz and buzz – your advice drew laughter from both devoted parents – laughter that only comes from slapstick comedy, or perfectly timed – often misguided comments that children make. No, dogs shouldn’t eat Bees – but bubbles? If man cannot live on bread alone, what good is soap as a dietary supplement to a dog?

But such events often pose a dilemma to me. With the advancement of technology and applications on mobile phones – I could have captured your words digitally, hosted them on twitter or facebook (I do wonder if this is like a history lesson for you?) and then put a couple of lines up telling my friends how funny you are; how perfectly adorable everything you do is.

I didn’t. I don’t.

Admittedly there are times when you are very funny (though not intentionally – the notion of a two year old telling gags and having material is a bit farfetched, even for a parent who thinks the world of their child). You are adorable. But then there are also times when you scream, cry, slump to the floor, tell me you don’t like me – slapping, scratching or occasionally biting as you do so. But then you are two. You can’t yet articulate your mood or all of your wants, so occasionally – through tiredness and frustration – the stuff we don’t want to capture on film, to host online, dominates what you do:

“Ha ha – Lauren just told me she hated me whilst hitting me. Kids say and do the funniest things” – it doesn’t have quite the same impact.

But then sharing should be a continuous thing. We can’t expect people to simply lap up the great bits about you and pretend there are no trying aspects to your growth – your ever changing development. If you are to believe what some say of my childhood – I was angelic – a near genius in terry towelling (reusable, material nappies). That can’t all be true – the nappies yes, but there must have been some – hmm, I word this cautiously as nothing about you is negative, though there are details of sleepless nights, tears, a reluctance to wear your own nappies we will share – in public, in front of you; as all parents should.

I share by letting others read this blog post. It is a means by which they can grow to understand more about you, and I guess in some ways, more about me – especially people that don’t, nor will ever really have the chance to meet or truly get to know us. That’s what the internet enables readers to do. This is their window in to our life. They don’t have to peer through it for too long; though if they find something that resonates – the bond between parent and child – then I hope they get some pleasure from our one sided conversations.

Though there is a part of me that is hesitant in sharing too much. The overriding reason is because I want to keep you, your actions, your best bits, all to myself. I’m conscious that if I flood the world with your photos and comments – that it starts to feel repetitive, and simply becomes a means to an end. People are no longer sharing an action they are merely reading the words on a screen. Friends might actually end up bored with that side of our interaction. As though a personality becomes almost one dimensional once you become a parent. I still want the world to know I am the same “exciting” man I was before you arrived – even if, internally, you dominate my thoughts like nothing else on earth. For I could set up a whole blog devoted to just these letters – but where is the variety in that; for anyone involved – writer and reader alike.

I also don’t want to feel like I am pushing you on to anyone – for there is time enough for you to do that yourself.

As with all parents, I am naturally inclined to think that there’s something special about you. I am convinced that you need no aid in a promotional sense. That, even though you can be shy and retiring, there is a glint in your eye that warns of something magical readying itself to burst out. That you are a natural entertainer – that you can captivate, enthral – command a room without prop or prompt. That you will rise to something far greater than your Mum and I could ever achieve.

That your star has been in ascendancy from the day you were born.

But then that is just a dad talking.

That glint may remain unexposed. May sit comfortably in your eye; happy to let other idiots – like me – try to hog the limelight. For who knows what you will do – what you will want to do. All we can do is be there to support you, be there to encourage you and do everything we can to help you achieve your dreams.

For in the same way you guided Hooch on the most appropriate floating objects for a dog to eat, we to will try to provide the same level of reassuring guidance throughout your life.

Don’t eat bees – eat a well balanced, nutritious diet.

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