You only need to look on social-media during the summer-holidays to find parents up and down the country looking for free fun days-out and that magical formula to entice their kids away from their consoles and in to the great outdoors.
I remember when you were born, our first child, our boy, our son. We were filled with hopes and dreams for you, Daddy wanted you to be an Arsenal striker, fighter pilot and doctor all rolled into one (it's OK, he wasn't serious, well maybe not about the fighter pilot bit...). But what we wanted most for you was to be yourself.
Throughout this month, BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour is broadcasting my interviews with men aged from twenty to eighty. The first week focussed on young men, role models and the way in which parental behaviour influences attitudes towards relationships. Last week we spoke to young men about their experiences of pregnancy, birth and fatherhood...
I'd like to share the three most useful tools that we've learnt along the way. As far as I'm concerned they are absolutely essential ace cards for all parents to have.
The little one is 16 Months old. Not a tiny baby anymore, yet not quite a toddler. He's at that precarious in-between stage. Climbing without knowing the consequences, running when he's not yet got enough miles under the belt walking. There are bumps and bruises a plenty. Mainly mine.
We said yes to breaking the rules, to late nights, to doing whatever we felt like despite the long list of errands that piled up. They might have been small acts of rebellion - going out on cool mornings without socks, walks in the rain without umbrellas, frivolous presents bought on a whim with little thought of our family budget.
Toddler tantrums are no rare occurrence, but there's no doubt every tantrum is different... Here's the five levels of toddler rage every parent should know about:
The Danes have a very common-sense approach to educating their children at home. And Alexander and Sandahl advocate unstructured free time. In other countries, there's a pressure on parents to fill their children's time with after-school activities, whether it be in a sports club or something more musical.
It's my husband who is helping me up and down the stairs, in and out of the shower, cooking every meal, washing every dish, helping me up from the sofa, being chief chauffeur, doing all the shopping, handing me Baby Boy when I can't bend and lift, settling the toddler next to me for cuddles whilst trying to mind my scar.
My little boys absolutely loved the dolls. They put them in and out of the highchairs, fed them, rocked them to sleep in the beds, cuddled them, and took them to bed with them at night. It was a delight for me, as their mum, to see them exhibit care for other 'people' in this way.
Where are all these judgey cows desperate to trip me up on my parenting and explain why I'm not doing it right or making good choices? Why haven't I met even one woman who has condemned my snack-giving, slap-dash ways or been unsympathetic when I'm having a tough day?
Technology isn't the enemy and should be viewed as simply a tool, it has huge plus points and the key I believe, is to understand the impact it can have in the mid to long term and build a plan on how you as a parent want technology to fit in with your family values and family unit.
Since becoming a mum, is your idea of a break a solo trip to the loo and enough time to cut your toenails? Do you feel positively Mediterranean slinging a bit of feta in your shopping trolley, and having a siesta (or rather passing out from exhaustion), on the couch while the kids nap? It could be you are suffering from a well-known condition called MINOAH - Mum In Need Of A Holiday.
The first thing that hit me was that it was written by a mum. (And a lawyer...) WHAT?! Written by a mum? But what really astounded me was the overwhelming assumptions and stereotyping that had been made.
Now I am a parent myself, I am faced with a dilemma. Do I terrify my own children about strangers? As an adult, I now know the uncomfortable truth. That children are far more likely to be hurt by people they know and trust and that simply never talking to strangers isn't always enough to keep them safe.
There are so many perks to this fathering gig. I just cannot believe the benefits of having a small child with you, wherever you go. I'm pretty sure that I outrank old age pensioners, the disabled, war veterans, sick animals and even other children. The list is endless and I take full advantage of it at every opportunity.