A cartoon dog named Bandit is a dad’s best friend.
My youngest daughter will be 1 year old tomorrow (as of the time of writing this). Over the past few months, I have become acquainted with a family of dogs that seem to be taking the world by storm. At first, I hardly gave the show, Bluey, any thought. It was another cartoon show for kids. Between Peppa Pig, Paw Patrol, Doc McStuffins, and a slew of other cartoons and programs, I was getting used to these shows and they became good background noise for my daughter as she was in her early development.
In the earlier months, once my daughter was starting to sit up, I would put her in her playpen with some toys and the TV on. I’d put on a show either on cable or through streaming. Some of my favorites were Wallykazam and Shimmer and Shine. This would allow me to go about taking care of business (doing the dishes, folding laundry, etc.). One of the shows her mother put on was Bluey.
I found that she seemed to enjoy that show. Especially the opening music. The first few notes of that little jam would start playing and she would look at the TV and get a big smile. It was adorable. Then something happened.
I would sit with her and watch it while giving her a bottle or feeding her breakfast or lunch. And I started paying attention to the show. I quickly found a fondness for the dad of the family, Bandit. I loved how he interacted with his kids (and his family in general). It was heartwarming. They came up with all sorts of imaginative games to play and it was wonderful. Often, the episodes ended with a scene that just reaches in and grabs you by the soul. Some of the episodes go as far as to deal with issues such as death and loss.
I never expected a cartoon character to become a role model of a dad. I am far from a perfect dad. My schedule makes it hard to get the best moments. I work overnight, take care of my youngest in the morning while my oldest goes off to school, then I sleep during the afternoon and evening. Sometimes it can leave me exhausted and short tempered. My oldest barely sees me (outside of me walking her to school in the morning).
When I watch this show, I see something special. A dad that makes it work. If I can achieve even a fraction of what this cartoon dog does in connecting with his children, I know that I will have a solid relationship with my girls for a long time.
So, thank you, Australia, for bringing Bluey (and especially Bandit) to the world. Thank you for showing us that it is ok to take a step back and appreciate what we have and to enjoy the moment.