This post originally was published by the Marion & Polk Early Learning Hub here.

Peek-a-boo seems to be a game that nearly all young children love to play.  I’m not sure if it’s the anticipation of when they will see you again or the actual reappearance you make that they enjoy most, but whatever it is, peek-a-boo is often a favorite game of little ones.  My son called it “kee-koo” and really enjoyed saying that every time somebody disappeared and reappeared.  My daughter loves covering her own eyes and playing peek-a-boo and sometimes thinks she only needs to cover one of her eyes with her hands to disappear.

As children get older hide and seek becomes more fun as the magic of peek-a-boo slips away.  I remember many moments of laughing hysterically at the places my son thinks he has “hidden” from me.  I also thoroughly enjoy watching him walk right by me as I hide just inches away without him noticing where I am.

With both of these games it seems that children think it’s funny when their parent “disappears”, but what seems even more important is that their parent “reappears”…usually with excitement and a smile.  It seems to really comfort and reassure them that their parent is always there for them and will keep coming back, even if they have to leave for a little while.  

As a working dad this is really important to me as I am constantly “disappearing” in the morning only to “reappear” in the evening.  When they greet me with smiles, hugs and “dada” as I walk through the door I know that they are reassured and happy to have me back.  And I am reassured because their adorable faces get to reappear in my world.   

This is fatherhood…