Who's the Daddy: 'Nostalgic videos make us smile'

One of our kids’ favourite ways to spend a long, boring afternoon (and let’s face it, there have been plenty of those in recent weeks) is watching their baby videos.

Saturday, 23rd May 2020, 12:30 pm
Updated Tuesday, 26th May 2020, 2:14 pm
Who's the Daddy

In the days before smartphones, these magical glimpses into the past were shot on camcorders the size and weight of a house brick.

But these old tapes should come with a warning. As well as your kids as babies, family members you buried and grieved over a long time ago have a habit of popping up unexpectedly, large as life and in rude health. Suddenly, there they are, you haven’t heard their voice in years yet they’re in your lounge, holding your kids when they were babies. Smiling.

The last time you saw them they were dying. It stops you in your tracks.

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Even legendary long-gone pets show up, like our lurcher Ashton, strutting around in their prime, bumping into toddlers for a laugh, and giving you that look, “Wasn’t I enough for you? Why did you bring these things home? Can we go to the park now?”

Honestly, I could gaze at these tapes for hours. Nothing much happens, they were mostly shot in the same lounge we’re watching the tapes in two decades later.

But what was a mundane spring afternoon in 2002 has been sprinkled with fairy dust over the past 18 years.

Ask our kids what their favourite childhood holiday was and they always say Ibiza 2007, when they were seven and four.

A picture from that trip of them holding hands, goggles on, daughter #2 wearing armbands, jumping into the hotel swimming pool with a look of unrestrained joy on their faces still hangs on our wall.

Yours truly was there with a camcorder to capture daughter #2 as she swam her first width without armbands and the nightly children’s show where they all got on stage to sing the kids’ club song. A day or two later they did their own version back at our apartment and it is the cutest thing I’ve ever seen as they sang: “Sunshine for me, sunshine for you. The sun is shining and everybody’s having fun.”

And we certainly did.