There was nothing quite like that feeling I got when I turned around from a moment’s distraction at the park and couldn’t see Small. It was like the bottom of my stomach flapping open and everything tumbling out.
Trying to keep calm, I would start scanning all the play equipment, endeavouring to remember what he was wearing so I could pick him out in the crowd. Nothing!
Heart starting to hammer, my vision would dart wider, checking the entrances, trying to see if he was attempting to get out. No!
On the move now I would run frantically from play piece to play piece, checking from every angle. Still no sign of Small!
Had he been grabbed? I glared suspiciously at every adult holding the hand of a toddler and scrutinise their Small to make sure it wasn’t mine. No!!
By now my mind would be starting to draft my piece to camera, begging for information that would help me find Small [knowing deep down that when the body was found everyone would think the father was the culprit].
Facing a bleak and miserable future; a tortured life of guilt and remorse, I would suddenly hear a cheerful and innocent, “Doiden”’. Tracking the sound, hope rising, I would invariably find Small wedged in a tiny crevice that he had managed to squeeze himself into following a woodlouse or similar. The relief was instant and massive and, pulling him out by his bottom, I would swear to myself that I would never be distracted again.
‘Bing bing!’ Ooo, text! Nobody texts me any more…
Not so much a parenting guide full of advice, more the reality of parenting kids and being a house husband and father, written by a stay at home dad to three children.
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