Does putting your four year old inside a wheelie bin for the sake of an Instagram photo make you a bad person?
And does it change anything if the photo gets lots of likes?
I should add that the wheelie bin in question was brand new. So sparklingly clean that I would’ve happily eaten my dinner out of it. So I had fewer qualms about putting Lola into it than if it had been full of fish heads and soiled nappies.
Nevertheless I couldn’t help feeling a pang of guilt. I sold the whole stunt to her as a bit of fun but isn’t it a bit more sinister than that?
Over the past fortnight I’ve received a couple of comments about my endeavours to expedite ten month old Mina’s development. Last week I wrote about how she has just learned to crawl, an activity that my little red-headed princess has been working to perfect for some time. Walking is next on the checklist.
I don’t deny that I have a propensity to egg Mina on. Helping her become more mobile hasn’t made my life any easier but I’ve gradually developed a low level addiction to the sense of achievement that comes with every new trick she learns. I now understand how Mr Miyagi was getting his kicks.
It was this enthusiasm to get Mina racing through the milestones that saw me accused of being a Tiger Dad. I don’t like this term though; it doesn’t quite do me justice. I’m not the male equivalent of those Chinese mums whose approach to raising children involves dispensing with the carrot and replacing the stick with a riot baton.
It’s reached that time of year when the few spares hours that I have to call my own are wrestled from me by my wife and forcibly reallocated to our allotment.
While I occasionally get to execute a few of my own ideas when it comes to looking after the girls, where the allotment is concerned I’m very much in the role of monkey to Alix’s organ grinder. The moment that spring muscles past winter and starts the soil a-thawing, Gardeners’ World is on series link and I’m dispatched up the road in my wellies to dig and weed, weed and dig so that the ground is ready for the crops that will make us all but self-sufficient during the summer months.