• Sweden's news in English

Baby care bible restores father's faith

Joel Sherwood · 10 Dec 2009, 11:44

Published: 10 Dec 2009 11:44 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

A few weeks ago I was trying to find the most fun there is for kids in all of Stockholm when I came across a publication called: 'Kids In The City - the most fun there is in all of Stockholm.' ('Barn i Stan – Det roligaste som finns i hela Stockholm').

Maybe something for me, I thought.

I'm on paternity leave taking care of an eight-month-old, which means I spend every moment of the day my child isn't asleep trying to get her into activities that will wear her out and put her back to sleep as soon as humanly possible. This is parenting.

Lately the 82,000 toys my daughter has to play with at home haven't been bringing on naps as quickly as they once did. So I've started looking for places around town that would help over-stimulate my child into daytime sleeping comas.

We were in the kids' wing of Stadsbiblioteket, the city library – not the most unfun place there is, incidentally – when I spotted these 'Barn I Stan' periodicals on a stand.

The publishers of this free, compact booklet call it a newspaper or magazine. By this, what I think they really mean is unabridged reference guide extraordinaire for every child-related event that has happened or will happen in Stockholm, ever.

The 64-page masterpiece was packed with everything you would want to know about kid-oriented activities in Stockholm open to the general public.

It details where you can find storybook readings, children's song sing-alongs, sights to visit with your kids, places to swim, theatre and film showings for younger audiences, etc. Nap-inducing gold, I felt, as I looked in wonder at my new 64-page best friend.

I also noticed the booklet I was looking at was just the November issue. New editions come out nearly each month. As if they needed to improve perfection. In my mind, that one issue had enough for my entire six-month parental leave.

For example, it lists 20 locations in the Stockholm area to look at animals. I double checked to make sure they meant living, breathing animals, and not just, say, pictures of wildlife at a museum. They did mean the real thing. I was both impressed by this seemingly high number and put the slightest bit on edge learning that I'm living in so close proximity to so many potential predators.

There were 39 theatre productions for kids in November, 33 museums you could visit and a number of outdoor activities. The last bit was particularly remarkable. I didn't think it was physically possible to have any fun at all outdoors in November in Sweden, let alone 'the most fun there is'. I've never had anything remotely close to fun – indoors or outdoors, for that matter – in the nine wet, dark Novembers I've spent here. I'd stopped even trying, preferring instead to just hibernate socially until the glögg and pepparkaka party circuit kicks off in December. 'Barn I Stan' was reshaping my world view.

Story continues below…

What strikes me now, a couple weeks after the booklet discovery, is just how few events we've made it to. This is partly because a number of activities are located pretty far away from where we live. There are some in a place called Sickla Udde, for example, where I've never been but am pretty sure is actually in Lithuania.

We've also missed a few events we planned to go to because my daughter...was asleep. It still happens sometimes on its own, usually when we're in a hurry to get somewhere.

My wife suggested I find some other parents who are also on parental leave, and then do get-togethers to let the babies play and wear each other out. Since 'Barn I Stan' seems to have everything else, I quickly turned to it to find some new, parental-leave friends. Now where's the personals section...?

Joel Sherwood (news@thelocal.se)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

10:18 December 11, 2009 by Natja
Sickla Udde is not in Lithuania, I'm "pretty sure"
11:07 December 14, 2009 by Tanneer
First time fathers, your wife is pregnant; this certainly is the most exciting event that can happen to you. For certain, this is much more to handle that the OCC job. It can be scary and worrying at times, however, many of the experiences you will encounter during your wife's pregnancy are common and to be expected. The question is in some cases a matter of staying calm and remind yourself that this it does not last forever and it would be soon over. Whether you are a first time father or a father with a newborn baby, no amount of training and preparation can ever prepare you fully for it, it is a learning journey. But please get prepared by learning from others and do as much reading up as you can, it really helps prepare you for your journey that lies ahead. Fatherhood is a lifelong journey.
08:59 March 23, 2012 by marko ilic
Today's headlines
Injured Swedish photographer protected by 'guardian angel'
Swedish photographer Paul Hansen on another occasion. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Photographer Paul Hansen thanked his lucky stars for surviving sniper fire while covering the battle for the Isis-held city of Mosul in Iraq.

How Sweden is trying to smooth relations with Saudis
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven meeting Saudi Arabia's Trade Minister Majid bin Abdullah Al Qasabi. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Löfven has visited Saudi Arabia a year and a half after relations turned frosty in a major diplomatic row.

My Swedish Career
'Swedish people love it, but they find it quite odd'
Scottish entrepreneur William Macdonald. Photo: Michael Campanella

Meet the web developer and entrepreneur using traditional Scottish ceilidh dancing to break the ice with Swedes.

Swedish photographer shot near Mosul
Hansen was being operated on in the Iraqi city of Erbil on Sunday. Photo: Nora Lorek/ TT

Paul Hansen, a photographer working for Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter, has sustained light injuries after being hit by what appears to be a sniper while covering the battle for the Isis-held city of Mosul in Iraq.

Trollhättan remembers school attack victims
'It was an attack on all of Sweden,' Education Minister Gustav Fridolin said. Photo: Thomas Johansson/ TT

Hundreds of people on Saturday turned out for a torchlight procession in the small town of Trollhättan in southwestern Sweden to honour the victims of last year’s deadly school attack there.

Sweden wants emission- free cars in EU by 2030
Photo: Jessica Gow/ TT

Sweden's environment minister on Saturday urged the European Union to ban petrol and diesel-powered vehicles from 2030.

Hundreds protest Swedish asylum laws
Around 1,000 people protested in Stockholm. Photo: Fredrik Persson/ TT

Hundreds of people on Saturday demonstrated in Stockholm and in many other parts of the country to protest Sweden’s tough new laws on asylum-seekers.

Swedish terror suspect ‘planned airport attack’
Swedish terror suspect Osama Krayem. Photo: Facebook

Swedish national Osama Krayem, linked to the deadly attacks in Paris on November 13 and in Brussels on March 22, is now suspected of having plotted to attack also the Schiphol airport in the Netherlands.

Dylan removes Nobel-mention from website
The American musician has more or less responded to the news with silence. Photo: Per Wahlberg

American singer-song writer Bob Dylan has removed any mention of him being named one of this year’s Nobel Prize laureates on his official website.

Refugee crisis
Asylum requests in Sweden down by 70 percent
Sweden's migration minister Morgan Johansson. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

Sweden received 70 percent fewer requests for asylum in the period between January and September 2016 than it did during the same time last year, the country’s justice and migration minister Morgan Johansson has revealed.

Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
People-watching: October 21st-23rd
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
Here's where it could snow in central Sweden this weekend
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
People-watching: October 20th
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Property of the week: Linnéstaden, Gothenburg
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
People-watching: October 12th
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
Property of the week: Triangeln, Malmö
Sweden unveils Europe's first elk hut
People-watching: October 7th-9th
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
Missing rune stone turns up in Sweden
jobs available