Dylan has a new favourite thing: guess what it is! A new food flavour? Nope. A new educational cartoon? Wrong again. How about a new sound that he’s experimenting with? Not even close. No, his new pastime of choice is slapping me in the face.
The first time he did it was on Monday when I got home from a slightly worse than usual day at work. I walked into the room and he looked up at me, emitted his excitable ‘Daddy’s home’ chuckle and, with the aid of the sofa, staggered towards me. Thinking I was going to be the happy recipient of a cuddle, I crouched to his height. With a huge grin on his chops, he lurched towards me and slapped my forehead before proceeding to laugh his arse off. Little monkey! Since then, it’s become a bit of a lottery as to what I’ll get once he has teetered his way towards me. Sometimes it’s a nice hug and others it ends with a thwacking sound created by a union of his palm and my cheek. The trouble is, I always believe it’s going to be the former so a slap in the face is, well, a slap in the face.
It’s all part of growing up, of course, and by showing off his new-found boisterous side, he seems to be becoming more like a little boy and less like a generic baby every day. He enjoys a bit of rough and tumble now and also likes shouting. A lot. Watching Soccer Saturday has become something of a family game now. When Spurs score, it’s inevitable that I will shout and Dylan now joins in. This encourages me to celebrate again by shouting and jumping around and little man follows suit. I’m so proud. The pundits and their glorious leader Jeff Stelling sporadically shouting “GOOOAAAL!” only serves to add to the effect.
Dylan has also added ballistics to his repertoire of early laddishness. One of his favourite places at the moment is a mini ball pit he has in his bedroom. Here he has cultivated an impressive throwing action and enjoys hurling the balls not just out of the pit but at me. To be fair though, he’s a good sport when I throw them back at him. Looking back over this list of his energetic antics, I’m actually quite happy to be his punchbag and target of verbal abuse. If that’s how he’s going to show his affection for me now and then, bring it on!