Chasing the girls and roaring like a lion...

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I’ve never really been what you’d call a ‘morning person’. When I wake up, it takes me at least 20 minutes to get my brain to communicate with the rest of my body. I’ve always been more of a night owl.

My ideal start to the day is pretty boring.

I like to be on my own sitting on the sofa, with a cup of coffee and maybe the radio or the television on in the background.

Well, that was the routine before I became a father.

When my daughters Caitlin and Alyssa decide to wake up at an hour when it seems like the rest of the world is still sleeping, I have to wake up my mind pretty quickly.

Unlike their sleep-loving daddy, they start each and every day full of life, zest and energy.

They are both the biggest chatterboxes around so a quiet start to the day is completely out of the question.

Every morning starts with a big dose of noise, whether it be one of their annoying toys or the sound of some overly-excited television presenters from one of the children’s channels or even a squabble that has broken out between the two of them.

Mornings are never dull or quiet in the Hayden household.

But when I do feel a little bit of grumpiness, on my part, sneaking in, I stop myself and remember it’s important my children are allowed to be children and it’s these moments that I need to treasure and take mental notes of.

Since becoming a dad six years ago many people have told me that the girls will be grown up before I know it.

So when that time comes I don’t just want photos to remind me of these times but also lots of memories.

This view has given me the opportunity to once again be a child through my children. I can’t think of any other reason why I would be crawling around my house, hiding behind the sofa and creeping up the stairs while roaring like a lion other than when I’m chasing Caitlin and Alyssa as they try to hide from me.

It’s a game they would play all day... if I had the strength.

Likewise, as an adult I can’t think of any other situation where I’d sit at the dinner table with several colouring books and a variety of crayons and pencils while trying my very best not to go over the lines. It’s very relaxing believe it or not.

So from now on I will encourage my girls to use their imagination and act their age.

And if anyone accuses me of being childish, I’d have to agree with them.