Will Lodge: Christmas is lots of fun with a handful of children

Will Lodge and his family.

Will Lodge and his family. - Credit: Su Anderson

Our new dad columnist Will Lodge revels in Christmases present and future.

As my wife and I reflected on another successful Christmas, we once again asked ourselves the perennial question of why we didn’t just get big cardboard boxes as a present.

In fairness to our children they were all very pleased with the gifts given to them by both ourselves and Santa.

The baby, enjoying her first Christmas, has giggled at lots of her toys and looks super cute in her new clothes – though I am of course biased.

She found the experience rather overwhelming on Christmas Day as wrapping paper flew through the air and her brothers shouted out in delight.

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However she did particularly enjoy the sound and feel of said crinkly wrapping paper, which may have been a suitable present in itself.

At the other end of the age spectrum her eldest brother, aged 11, got a portable speaker which attaches to “anything that vibrates” to play music – prompting him to say “I need a cardboard box to carry around with me now” (and somewhat missing the point of it being portable).

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But despite these sideline successes perhaps we should stick with more conventional presents in years to come.

Bizarrely, despite the stress organising a family Christmas can bring and my usual tardiness in getting excited for festivities, I am already looking forward to December 25 2015.

This year I couldn’t help but keep picturing how things might look the following year, particularly for the baby.

Instead of being held up, she will hopefully be picking up and opening her own presents. Instead of just taking in her brothers’ excitement she will be joining in, and albeit somewhat crudely, maybe telling us what she thinks of her gifts.

And instead of having baby milk for Christmas she will be tasting her first brussel sprout.

In my last column I spoke about how the first Christmas is a somewhat artificial landmark in a child’s development, but for baby there has been actual progress in this area as she has taken her first mouthfuls of food.

Of course at just five months it is a very loose definition of food – a rusk mushed up in baby milk only just resembles porridge – but nevertheless it is her first spoon-fed vaguely solid meal which she has tried for a couple of breakfasts now.

Fortunately Father Christmas brought her a rather varied selection of baby food to try, so soon her tentative smile as she gets meals delivered on a spoon will probably become a myriad of expressions as she discovers sweetness, sourness and a whole host of other tastes – and I can’t wait.

However, perhaps I should not be getting ahead of myself and wishing the time away.

As some very good friends of mine had their first baby just five days before Christmas and shared those initial photos, I was reminded of the enormous changes baby has already gone through – and how I should be making the most of now.

More parenting dilemmas from Superdad Will lodge here.

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