And so it begins….

It seems so long ago when the decision was made to go down to three days a week, and at that time the reality of this day probably never even crossed my mind. It probably felt this day would never actually come…maybe Nicole would want to stay at home…maybe we’d sort out a nursery.

That day has now come though. Nicole has just walked out of the front door, and unlikely to return for 12 hours. And I am here with Grace. Alone. Now what….?

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The BEFORE photo….8am and all is calm

I think the idea was to have some practice days, some daddy training , draw up some suggested itineraries …places to go. If that was the idea, it certainly did not see the light of day. I’m here, unqualified, unsure and a little scared.

The day is a blank slate. Well, not exactly blank. We have a washing machine to wait in for. In the meantime, the music education can begin.  Nicole is not a music person, so if Grace is to grow up understanding that there’s more to music than sticking five fit looking blokes singing karaoke to someone else’s words and tunes, then the learning must begin now. Let’s fire up the stereo…

Today’s Music Education Curriculum: Substitute/My Generation – The Who, Good Times Bad Times/ Dazed and Confused – Led Zep

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Baby Walker with a baby walker

Hmmm…slight fly in the ointment of the day.  Wondering where the washing machine has got to, I’ve checked the order.  It’s Thursday you fool!  Grace is currently taking a nap, so for now I can avoid her look of disappointment in daddy.  Checks watch.  Only 10.18am.  Still a loooooonnnnng way to go.

I should perhaps point out at this juncture that Daddy Day Care did actually begin in the middle of the night.  3.30am to be exact.  Grace is still in with us, and Nicole said if Grace woke in the night (as she is still doing), she would feed her.  I would then take charge of the putting back down exercise.  And if your perceptions of exercise are pain, monotony and exhaustion, that is exactly what I experienced.  However, by 5.30am we were all sorted.  Zzzzzz….

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She’s even feeding herself now. What’s my role?!?

Hey, this is easy! I put Grace down at 10am for what I was told would be a short nap …. an hour and a half later, all the washing up done, all the laundry, all the blog updates…Grace finally stirs. We’re currently trying to get Grace used to food that isn’t breast milk, so I take the opportunity to give her a few sticks of cucumber to eat play with, and then try and shovel some pre-prepared sweet potato mush and purple sprouting broccoli mush into her with varying degrees of failure. Back to the milk for now. Even the formula milk is a challenge, but a challenge to which there is no alternative on my days, and I think even Grace realises this and eventually gives in.

I’ve quickly realised that you could easily become a prisoner in your own home looking after a baby if you allowed yourself the slightest excuse to. It was a gorgeous afternoon here, so while I was in a lets do mood, I quickly gathered everything together, hoping I had at least one of everything that I was likely to need, and popped into our local town, Stony Stratford, for a wander.  The wandering lasted as far as Costa’s …not very far…where I decided to practice my sitting with cute baby, drinking coffee and allowing people to coo at her, pose. Not much practice needed there, truth be told.

Note to Stony Stratford Costa’s : thanks for being a welcoming refuge for daddies with babies….but if you must have two halves to your front door, why can’t at least one half be big enough to take a pram…try opening both halves and pushing a pram through at the same time!

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The AFTER picture….a contended smile, and a baby in one piece. SUCCESS!!

It’s now 4pm, we’re safely back home, and Grace has been asleep for the last half hour….When I say safely, this was not for want of me trying otherwise, as I drove off without attaching the baby seat to the car. In my (admittedly weak) defence, I usually have  base unit and the seat just clicks in place…having to use the seat belt is new to me. I spotted my error after less than 10 metres, but I suspect it’s an error I may decide to relate to Nicole at a less adjacent time! Anyhow….she stirs…

The last couple of hours went by in a bit of a daze…if for no other reason than I feel I’ve been up since 3am.  Which apart from two snatched hours between 5 and 7, I guess I have been.  I did manage the daily bath without drama, and we were both a picture of calm and happy, for the return of mummy.  Cue sighs of relief all round.

Can’t wait for Thursday….

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