There's a little playground down the road from where we're staying in Christchurch. Nothing new there - there's a little playground down the road in Carrigaline, Cork, the place we call home. I've taken Nina and Sara to the local playground here a number of times in the last 2 weeks. Their favourite ride there is a tyre suspended horizontally from three chains in such a way that it can not only swing, but also spin. Nothing could be simpler.
As far as I can tell, it's their favourite ride firstly because they never quite know what direction it's going to swing or spin in next, because their Daddy is an unpredictable pusher. It might just swing when they thought it would spin, or the other way around.
The other reason I think it's their favourite is because that's the one where I have to participate. They get quality Daddy time, and it's clear that I'm enjoying myself as much as they are. That's the difference. I'm not in a hurry to be somewhere else. It's a simple pleasure that happens more often on the road than it does at home.
In most other respects, life with the kids is just like home. I have to correct them, and sometimes I'm not as patient and understanding as they need me to be. I still have to say things three or four times before they listen to me. We still fall out for short periods of time.
But the counter-balance, the moments when we're just OK being with each other and talking (with Sara this is a kind of one-way download from her to me where I have to work hard to identify the message buried within the verbosity; with Nina it's almost the opposite where I have to interpolate the few words into the idea that she roughly sketches; in both cases it requires me to shut up and listen), are more numerous than at home. I would have paid the tickets for this alone.