So this weekend I had a small taster of what it is like to look after our 9-month-old baby my own. I have looked after her before on my own but she was much smaller and not crawling which adds a new level of trickiness!
I love a good plan.
I had this really nice day planned; I was going to take her for a really nice long walk along Worthing seafront as she always sleeps really well in the buggy, then I was going to stop off somewhere to give her some lunch and take her to Starbucks to change her (as they have ace changing facilities). After this I planned to drive somewhere else and maybe stop off at a country pub, have a pint and give LT some milk and some more snacks.
A Daddy Daughter Day.
I knew this plan was turned on its head when I woke up and it was chucking it down with rain, then it rained, and it rained and it rained.
What to do in the pouring rain?
I dropped Lorna off in town for her day out and LT was just about due for a sleep. Due to the heavy rain I had the idea to drive to Brighton to attend a record fair thinking that LT would sleep happily on the fairly long drive over there.
After driving for 5 minutes she got fed up then began to cry; 15 renditions of the Wheels on the Bus later and she calmed down a bit but I decided to abort the mission and circle back towards home. Just as we got within 100 feet of our road she fell asleep!
She woke up and we played together at home for a bit then I decided to take her out to lunch. We go to this great place on the end of Worthing Pier called The Southern Pavillion. On Sundays they have a guy playing jazz piano and there are panoramic views out to sea; it is lovely.
I made the fatal error of forgetting that I had a baby with me that needed her nappy changing and bowled up to the counter to order my lunch. I then had to ask the kind waiter to look after my rucksack, buggy and the assortment of other items that I had somehow managed to leave the house with whilst I went off and changed LT.
At the moment she hates having her nappy changed and does this thing where she lies on her side, then her front, then her back, then back to her side again. It’s like trying to put a nappy on a moving rotisserie chicken; not easy.
Somewhere along the line she managed to get poo on her socks and in my slightly panicked mind I decided it would be a good idea to put them in my back pocket. No idea why I did that as I had nappy sacks with me but I spent the rest of the day with the contaminated socks in my jean pocket; nice.
After a fair amount of crying, screaming, rolling about and some sheer panic on my part I emerged from the toilet to find my lunch sat on the table getting cold.
LT absolutely loves people watching and she had a great open view of the whole cafe which she loved. We sat there quite content and ate our lunch together whilst LT watched everything going on around her with interest.
We then played a game where I walked her around town in the buggy for a while in the pouring rain and she tried to pull the rain cover on the buggy down, I then pulled it back on and she tried to pull it off again. This carried on for a while as I ducked in and out of shops until it was time to go home again.
We got home and LT was well overdue a nap but I suddenly realised that I was running out of time to start preparing dinner for later which included a homemade desert for LT’s uncle Colin as it was his birthday.
I decided that the best solution was to strap LT to me in the sling, that way I could get stuff done and she would happily watch everything from the sling. I started to prepare the desert which felt like I was taking part in some sort of really confusing Crytal Maze challenge; trying to make a biscuit crumb base with half a packet of Hob Nob’s and a blender with a baby strapped to you in a sling is not as straightforward as it sounds.
I managed to prepare the desert and get it in the fridge and then I rocked back and forth a few times in a bid to get LT to sleep. Luckily she was soon sound asleep which left me with the predicament of not being able to move for 45 minutes in fear of waking her up.
I decided to take the opportunity to get some rest myself and lay on the sofa with her on top of me fast asleep.
Then there was three.
Lorna got home not long afterwards and I felt the same feeling of relief that she must feel every night when I get in from work. Don’t get me wrong I absolutely loved spending the day alone with LT and I am looking forward to doing it again but it really brought it home to me just how tiring and difficult it is being one on one with a baby all day.
I used to be under the false impression that it was sensible for Lorna to do more of the night time feeds and wake up’s because I had to be up early the next day for work; I now realise that doesn’t make much sense at all as Lorna has to cope with LT all day and we regularly share the night time wake up’s nowadays.
As it was quite a long time since I had taken care of our little girl on my own and because she is now crawling and very active I had not appreciated how much you have to concentrate on her constantly and this adds to the exhaustion of keeping her entertained throughout the day.
Due to the fact that I am stuck behind a desk for 40 hours a week most of my parenting takes place in the evenings or at weekends so it was a real eye-opener for me and I now really appreciate how Lorna feels when I get in from work and she has had a tough day with LT.
We are not model modern parents, we make mistakes and get things wrong all the time and this blog is not a platform for us to give anyone advice whatsoever but if you are a working father to a baby that is under 1 years old and if feeding permits I would recommend spending the day on your own with them if you have not done this already as it gives you a good insight into the life of your other half.
I am looking forward to giving Lorna a rest with another Daddy and LT day; I just have my fingers crossed that it doesn’t rain this time!
What are your experiences of going solo as a Dad? Would love to hear from you so please drop your comments below.
Until next time…..
Be excellent to each other.
Post by Daddy.