A lot of people have asked me what the best thing about doing parental leave is. Actually they haven’t, but I’m going to tell you anyway and I can’t think of a better introduction than that.
You might think that getting the chance to spend time with the kids and see every aspect of their growth would be the highlight. Spending every spare minute with the kids and watching their personalities develop is admittedly pretty good.
Being there when Baxter pulled himself up to a standing position yesterday was fantastic. Hearing Baxter say something this morning that sounded near enough to ‘Daddy’ (I’m claiming it anyway) was even better, but still there’s something that I find even more incredible.
The more cynical among you might suggest not having to endure London commuting for three months as the best thing about parental leave. Again, that’s quite a nice thing but it’s a long way from being the best.
No, in the last week I have made Rice Krispie cakes, played with cars (the Matchbox streak racing set , complete with loop-the-loop, that was recently rescued from my Dad’s loft), had an afternoon disco to MIA, cut out some paper snowflakes, decorated two Christmas trees and watched the CBeebies Christmas Carol. I have loved every minute of all of these activities.
There can be no other context in which a 37-year-old man could write the previous paragraph without coming across as more than a bit weird, but everyone I have spoken to positively endorses my new hobbies. In fact I even get credit and praise for doing them.
My life at the moment is one long playtime and that is definitely the best thing about parental leave.

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