NOT QUITE 48 hours into our trip and we’d already been offered the forest sauna. Two days after that Sweden douze-pointed it to Eurovision glory. So by the time it got to Monday morning in Stockholm we were on a hatrick for national stereotypes. Safe to say what’s drawn us to Scandinavia isn’t the chance to sit starkers in a hot room or reach euro-disco nirvana. For work-life tightropers like ourselves it's the idea of Scandinavia as Mecca for gender-bending metro parenting that really thrills. It was time to take to the equality streets.
Having lunched in a suitably trendy deli in suitably trendy Sodermalm I thought I was in the perfect spot to find kindred daycare Dads when Working Mum left us to go bag an interview. When the time comes to write the guidebook on hipster playgrounds the one on Nyagatan will be right up there, but even so I was the only Dad there for at least 30 minutes and when one did turn up he was American. So much for Scandequality.
By the time we caught up with WM at the Nordiska Museum, Boy 2 who'd been peaky overnight had taken a worrying turn for the worse and so did our pretence at Modern Parenting when it fell to Mum to jump in a cab in search of a doctor post-puke.
That left me and Boy 1 killing time in a museum dedicated to Swedish folk history. Among the empty exhibition halls we did find other Dads out with their kids at last – perhaps they knew better than to take a sickly infant to an outdoor playground in the chill of a Nordic May. So for a brief hour or so we lived the genderless parenting dream cruising exhibitions on dolls houses and interior design. Male bonding, Scandi-style.