If you’ve not read part one, it’s here. It’ll be easy for me to lazily reference it, if you know what I’m talking about. Most of the feedback I got from that blog involved the words ‘had me in tears.’
Sorry about that.
If you can’t be bothered to read the first part here’s a very quick summary:
My fiancé went into hospital on Monday, gave birth on Friday, her beloved Granddad passed away on the Saturday and we all got to go home on Sunday, frazzled and into the winter air with a baby weighing less than 6 pounds and heading for a world of human instinct and a mass of trial and error… Like I said, it’s here if you wanna read it.
My boy, Zack, will be a one year old, next month. He’s healthy, tall and crawls with lightening speed.
He’s four times heavier than the feather-weight he was born at, he feeds himself as best as he can, he points and acknowledges things and he’s trying so very hard to master the art of walking.
He has achieved most of that, whilst I’ve been at work.
To put that into context: From when he started making his first noises I tried so very hard to get him to mimic the word ‘Mumma.’
‘Mumma… Can you say Mumma..? Mumma… Mummumumumumumumumumumumumma.’
His first word was ‘Dadda.’
His second word was ‘Bugupugupugup.’ We think it’s ‘Pig’ after countless episodes of Peppa Pig.
In between that, he learned to blow raspberries with his tongue and his lips and has developed an infectious laugh that makes you laugh.
Through trial and error, I learned the best way to put his stubborn soul to sleep at night which has now evolved into discovering how to let him fall asleep organically. I’ve sussed that if I use him to do overhead weight lifting repetitions it can both hold his attention and make him giggle. I stumbled onto the fact he loves it when I ‘beat-box’ which he’s now trying to copy.
We share a love of ice-cream and every now and then, as a treat, we’ll split a McFlurry in McDonalds as it’s the nearest thing to ice-cream van-vended, swirly, soft, stuff. He tells me when he’s had enough by making it impossible to put the spoon near his mouth.
In the mornings he sits with me and watches kid’s TV… well the theme tunes anyway, in between standing up against the bed rest and trying to eat the remote controls, despite, only having two teeth.
He has a semblance of a best friend called Noah and hangs out with a Tyler, an Alex not to mention cousins D’arcy, Ethan and chastises a golden Labrador called Sandy.
He loves boobs. He gets that from me. Although his liberating, unsubtle approach to them is to be admired as he’s a baby, as an adult, it would get you some prison time, I’m sure of it.
Of all the little things I’ve learned over the last year:
- The correct measures of milk
- The changing of nappies
- The wrestling match that is trying to dress a ten-month-plus-year-old
- The ease of putting him in a shopping trolley VS Trying to stop him eating the shopping trolley
- The pacifying effect of a Farley’s Rusk
- The knowledge that if you’re changing a messy nappy, a distracting toy…or any nearby object is a must
- The development of reflexes needed when you put him on one side of the bed and he decides to crawl to the next
- The realisation that he will look at something, touch something, taste something and if he can’t eat it, will beat the shit out of it
- The risk of giving him anything touch screen to look at…
- The acceptance that despite however many toys are provided, he’ll choose the drawer to open
- The acceptance that despite however many toys are provided, he’ll choose a decorative household ornament to pick up
- The acceptance that despite however many toys are provided, he’ll choose an electrical device to stick his fingers in for entertainment
- The hungry cry from the pain cry from the sleepy cry
- The fact that food is not needed any more when thrown on the floor for the dog
Nothing will compare to ‘I just want my Mummy!’
I had some time off in between jobs recently, in that couple of weeks, I got fitter! Physically fitter with more stamina and hardening abs.
How come? Well… I did around 60% of what his Mummy does on a daily basis during the week.
I got up for the first feed, I took him for walks in an attempt to get him fresh air or so he could have an hour’s sleep.
I prepared and fed his meals.
On some days, I just made him my sole attention. I was on the floor one minute and up the next. I was chasing the escapee crawler and catching him, picking him up and placing him back down again. I repeated that last step, a lot. I was a human barrier to conceal dangerous corners or breakables from his pudgy, little hands and I was holding his 20 pound frame in my arms when I needed to keep him near or if he just wanted a cuddle.
I was loading and unloading buggy frames and car seats which sometimes I juggled with shopping bags.
I was on red alert for late night/early morning cries.
By the time I went back to work, I was exhausted and my clothes seemed baggier. I didn’t have any ‘baby weight’ to carry to start with. Maybe ‘burgers and cheese’ weight, but I’m not as heavy as I look anyway.
As a Daddy, as part of a solid partnership with a Mummy, nothing will compare to ‘I just want my Mummy.’
Because ‘Mummy’ needs to be an athlete to keep up with a scuttling, toddler. That’s just the start of it. ‘Mummy’ is also a chef, a clown, a nurse, a maid and if she chooses, a domestic goddess too.
Sometimes, Mummy manages Zack and his mate Noah!
I’m not one for complaining, and no matter how much I use my brain for my job, I can’t justify ever really saying, ‘I’m tired after today.’ I have always done more than my fair share of cooking the evening meals, mainly because I enjoy it and Nic loves my cooking.
If you’re a Daddy who works full time whilst Mummy stays at home, any little task you do to make Mummy’s life easier, is much appreciated and it’s not something that you can do every other day or at weekends, it has to be everyday.
I really appreciate that every parental team’s dynamics are different. Some Dads earn nearly twice what I earn and live in plush houses. Some Dads aren’t around at the right times to give Mummy that extra support. Some Dads, aren’t even around.
I’ve met different versions of Mummys and the ones I feel for are the ones who are alone with their babies. Every full time job entitles you to a holiday…
The main thing I’ve learned about being a Dad, so far, is you can have the hardest job with the longest hours in the world, it means nothing because…
Mummy never gets a day off… Unless, primarily, you make it happen.