Let's face it, every parent spends quite a bit of time telling their kids off and ordering them about. So much so that often, the moments of happiness and joy you share with them can seem few and far between.

Which is why I'm going to tell you about how chuffed I felt with my little Mia recently. Because your kids really do make you feel proud when they are happy and well behaved.

It started last week when I told her, for a treat, I was taking her to see Angelina Ballerina - the mouse who is dancing up a storm around New Zealand at the moment. Mia's look of delight was adorable.

Though she didn't talk too much more about it until the night before the show when she was picking her outfit for her big day - a cute dress her mum used to wear when she was a little girl - you could tell she was looking forward to it.


Come the day of the performance, Mia's delight turned to grinning glee. Her Nana bought her an official program and an Angelina wand that flashed on and off, and she walked proudly alongside me, holding my hand and swinging it as we walked into the theatre to find our seats.

She took most of the first act to grasp exactly what Angelina, her mischievous friend Henry and the other mouselings were doing up their on stage.

"Are there people in the costumes," she asked.

Yes, hun, they are dancers.

"But are there real people in the costumes," she asked again.

It made me wonder if we should give her and younger her sister more treats of this sort. Well, for a minute at least, because who can afford it? I'm afraid they will mostly have to be content with their jungle gym in the backyard.

However, on Angelina day I reckon I got more cuddles from Mia in one day than any other day since she was born. She kept coming up and giving me sporadic hugs of the brief but tight gripping kind.

To use a phrase my mum still quite likes: she was tickled pink with the show.

I always fancied myself as a soccer dad. Or some other sort of sporting dad. But if Angelina, or even Giselle and Sleeping Beauty, get this sort of result, then I'll take being a ballet dad any day.

And yes, she jabbered most of the way through the performance, but at least she wasn't the girl who groaned at the top of her voice that "I can't believe how boring this show is" during one of Angelina's poignant dream sequences.

My Mia was a little angel - even though I know she is prone to outbursts of whining, grizzling, and insolence, just like they all are.