The Daddy-Daughter Day

Being a father is a wonderful job, no matter the gender of the bundle of joy we're raising. If you can think outside the box, there are loads of activities that will make your bonding time unforgettable



Days of fun

Since my daughter's birth over two years ago, I have considered myself extremely lucky to be in a position to have a consistent amount of exclusive 1-1 time with her. Unique time to be able to add a father's touch to her introduction into the world.

I'm not talking about a few hours whilst mummy goes out for a haircut or has lunch with a friend. Nope. I'm talking about whole days at a time, sometimes two or three. This exclusive time is able to happen because I have at least one weekday off from work every week. Mummy works full time Monday-Friday, which means we have weekends off together as a family. To us this is equally as important, but to have real extended times together as "daddy and daughter", is amazing in so many ways.

Dad time - Mum time

Exclusive time with my daughter gives my role as daddy a sense of identity and additional meaning. It gives us both the chance to connect in ways which simply don't happen when you are amongst other family members and friends. It's my opportunity to add my own energy, ideas, smiles, and memories. I know for a fact this works when her mummy has exclusive time too. It's mummy's moment to simply be a mummy, and for our daughter to reap the benefits of that. Not forgetting it is also a chance for our daughter to interact with each parent individually on ways she wouldn't normally when we are all together.

The power of 'anything can happen'

So, what do we do during our days together? To be perfectly honest, there has never been a set plan of events or schedules to follow. I am a relaxed parent, as is my wife, therefore we do as we please. Once mummy has left for work, we have "breakfast club" together. A time to sit down at the table in surrounding silence. We may have a toddler chat - which usually consists of her telling me that she is eating Cheerios and I am eating toast.

A quick Peppa Pig session may follow.

And then another one. It depends on the day.

Mid-morning, we may venture outside for some fresh air. A slow walk to the shops to buy a cake for our world-famous Daddy-Daughter Cake Club. On the way, she may pick up some leaves and sticks or jump in muddy puddles, until we finally arrive at the bakery. If we make the executive decision to sit inside the bakery (her decision), we both sit in the lovely kid's area, which consists of those small-people chairs you used to sit on during Primary School. A hunched-up daddy and perfectly postured toddler munching away on a sugary delight, whilst having another one of our toddler chats. She tells me, "Daddy, sit down, it cake club". Heaven.

Play, discover, grow

During recent months, I have taken her to a Nursery Rhyme group at our local library and even more recently, introduced her to a dance class. Whilst at these classes, she, along with a lot of other toddlers understandably start off nervous and apprehensive in their behaviour. They assess their surroundings and make informed decisions about whether to take part and run around like a lunatic or not. During these moments, it is always comforting to know that when her confidence visibly increases and she ventures away from my side, she will regularly look back to check I am still there. She may walk back to sit on my lap and curl in to my chest, or she may stay where she is. Either way, it is a warm feeling to experience as a parent. She feels safe as long as her daddy is there.

After a group or a class, we may have lunch in either a café or within the comforts of home - nothing is set in stone. Still both together, still mucking about, still holding hands, still laughing, still crying, still grazing her knee - still creating memories.

During the afternoon, we may play with her toys on the floor or in the garden; we may run around the house; we may play hide and seek where she doesn't quite understand when she is the "seeker"; we may both hide in the cupboard when there is nobody else to find us; or we may both fall asleep on the sofa for an hour.

And then mummy arrives home from work and is greeted (usually), with an almighty smile to welcome her home.

Daddy-Daughter day is over, family time begins.

Andy Robinson, Working Dad and Tinies Manny

Find more child and parenting related articles on Andy's Huffington Post page.

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I just wanted say how delighted we were with the crèche facility. I have had comments of how great it looked and how lovely and helpful the girls were.
Lucidd Crèche, Slough