It’s a poignant time of year to look back and remember some of the finer moments of 2011.
Parents know life is never dull – sometimes tears stream down your face. The reasons are varied.
Pride, laughter, sadness, anger or physical pain from having a chubby little digit rammed into your retina unexpectedly.
It’s been a year of food exploration for little Jack. He started this year off by getting his gums around solids for the first time and it’s always fun to see the vast array of facial expressions as the various textures cross the palate.
But who would have guessed that my son likes to eat sand? When I say eat it, I mean repeatedly serve it up with a little Roary The Racing Car spade and actually pour it into his mouth.
I’m not too sure what sort of internal exfoliation has occurred but his little nappies could have sanded down a rustic fence.
Without doubt the best investment of the year was the trampoline.
Looking back to the hazy summer, we actually enjoyed a few fleeting moments of peace as the youths jumped, bounded and seat-dropped across June, July and August.
The protective netting around the perimeter acts as a brilliant safeguard. It stops the participants face planting onto the well-prepared lawn and has a clever ‘don’t let them escape feature’ which can keep them safe and sound/away from me.
It’s also been another year without sleep. My wife and I are so battered, that we don’t even question it any more.
Jack has inherited my genetic defect of not requiring much kip.
Combining that with teething and being outrageously stubborn means that he enjoys two to three hours of serenity before deciding to get up or just shout. Oh well, maybe next year.
Parental pride is one of the most powerful emotions I’ve ever witnessed and an incident this year reduced me to a gibbering buffoon.
Being a painfully competitive person, I’ve instilled an ethic into Molly that may be considered borderline obsessive.
Always try your best – but if your best isn’t good enough to win, you need to work on it.
So when she came bounding in through the front door holding her winners’ medal aloft – like a freckly under-sized Olympian – I was beside myself.
She went on to tell me that not only was she the fastest runner in her year group but also that she wanted to win to make me proud.
I’m not sure if you’ve ever seen a 17 stone rugby player writhing around in a pool of his own tears but it’s hippo like.
Fingers crossed 2012 brings more of the same but this is my last column so happy new year and all the best.