Mindfulness, Fathering and Blue Gloop

Took manhoovers junior (mj) to his new kinder information night last week. It’s just a short stroll down the road and despite it being on past his bedtime (7pm), we thought it was important that he be an integral part of this transitional time.

So off we went on our little adventure down the street, hiding from monsters, dodging aliens and avoiding dragons on the way (mental note: must inform the authorities about the vast number of sharp toothed beings that seem to inhabit our immediate locale. It’s not going to do house resale prices any favors)

Still, we arrived safely, introduced ourselves, signed the various forms that one expects at these types of things and that was it. We could have headed off home 3 minutes later, and in my past life as a self grasping, self involved individual, we probably would, with me dragging the little one out of there, despite all the toys laid out, the highly trained kinder teachers just waiting to impart knowledge and the fact that the evening was actually ALL ABOUT him, not me…

So we stayed, for nearly 2 hours.

We read books together, played with homemade gloop and sludge, and created a city with a friendly (but misunderstood) dragon that insisted on wanting to ride in the back of Barbie’s cabriolet.

I assisted mj to dress as a princess, with a delightful little lilac fur number and matching brooch. The princess then ensured that all was well in the city through an accomplished ‘dragon whispering’ practice that would have made Cesar Milan swell with pride.

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Following the taming of an otherwise unruly beast was the making of ‘fruit and custard’ with gloop (apparently made from Lux flakes and water, with food colouring).

We whisked, spooned, ladled, forked, cupped and handled this stuff until it was up to our elbows and we both smelled as if we had been on a 40 degree fast spin cotton cycle.

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So, the moral of this story…

Well, not a moral as such, more of an interesting and worthwhile lesson for me, really.

I’ve been doing a bit of reading about mindfulness recently, and more importantly, trying to practice it in my daily life. The books I’ve been reading are written by Dr Russ Harris, an English psycho-therapist who writes about Acceptance and Commitment Therapy in an accessible and easy to read way.

He describes mindfulness as “a mental state of openness, awareness and focus“. I see it as being fully committed to the task at hand – actively listening to people and fully engaging in whatever you’re doing at the time.

Part of my commitment to myself in attempting to be a ‘better’ Father (whatever ‘better’ means, of course!) is to be more involved in mj’s imaginative play. Not to feel self conscious by fighting a dragon in the corner of a room or by chauffeuring Barbie across the carpet in a hot pink 4WD. Not to feel childish or immature by running up the street whilst being chased by laser wielding aliens or singing ‘We’re going on a bear hunt‘ as we skip through the woods.

I’m not sure who gained more from that evening at kinder, I reckon we both came out of it with a positive outlook and mj will associate happy times with his new kinder.

Have a super weekend!

Cheers.

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One thought on “Mindfulness, Fathering and Blue Gloop

  1. Pippa November 30, 2012 at 11:33 pm Reply

    That’s very sweet dear…in a manly rugged kind of way! your in luck tonight 🙂

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