Since I've had the week off work, I've spent a bit of time out and about with my toddler. Trips to the dinosaur museums, Christmas shopping, Peppa Pig Live at the theatre (Jaysus help me) and generally just doing stuff to make myself feel like I'm a halfway decent father.
It's very, very weird how people stare at you when you've got a small child - especially on trains and stuff - it's kind of difficult to know where to look while random people are gawping and smiling at you for no other reason than you happen to have a small person with you. It freaked my wife out when our first kid was very little, but she's used to it now, whereas for me it's only really during these rare breaks from work when we're going out together lots that I notice how much it happens.
The other thing is that almost every time that we're out together, somebody comments on how much he looks like me which, as I've said before, I find hard to gauge myself. But given that not a week passes without somebody reminding me that they've never seen a child look so much like their father, I'll just accept that maybe he does have some of my genes.
Anyway. No particular point to this, other than events of the past week have given me cause to reflect on just how much my kids mean to me and, unfortunately for you lot, that means occasionally I want to bore people about them.
I was getting ready to go out for a pint with an old friend the other night, when the toddler came padding into the bedroom and earnestly announced: "Daddy! I will come to the pub with you and Uncle Bob."
When he's 18 I'll hold him to that, but in the meantime I'm going to count every one of the next 16 years with him and his little brother as whatever the godless version of a blessing is.