I fell in love on the weekend. She’s blonde, small and has an amazing laugh. She’s engaging and funny and loves my jokes. Sure she’s only 6 months old and likes to throw up on me but I don’t care.
Last weekend I spent about 36 hours being the sole parent to my 6 month old daughter. Mrs II and Ms 3 were off to the country for a good friends birthday. We decided the party was a great opportunity for my wife to spend some time with Ms 3 doing something fun, rather than the usual routine; some of you may know it, it’s the one where Mum asks Ms 3 to do something, Ms 3 prances into the lounge room and pretends she didn’t hear it, Mum cleans, does some washing, makes a meal, Mum asks Ms 3 to do the thing again, Ms three does a few pirouettes and then does the exact opposite…
I also knew that there was no way that Mrs II would be able to relax while Ms 0.5 was there. She would be constantly listening for cries, cringing as the gang of kids (including ours) raced around having a ball, worried that our restless half year old would be woken and not being able focus on spending time with good friends she hasn’t seen in too long.
Part of me thinks I should keep the next comment to myself but in the interests of breaking the ill-prepared-Dad-who-can’t-look-after-kids stereotype I am happily declaring that in comparison to a three year old, a 6 month old is easy! There, I said it. I’m not saying it’s not busy, you’re constantly doing something; feeding, washing up, getting up, changing and dressing but at no point did I have to spend 3 hours playing blocks or 2 hours on a trampoline or a morning at the shops playing the “don’t touch that I can’t afford you to break it” game.
And the rewards come so quickly and easily. Want a beaming smile? Just get them up when they wake from a sleep. Want a cackling laugh? Just apply some enthusiastic nuzzling to her tummy. Want her to coo and thrash her legs around in joy? Just strap her into the baby harness and go and grab a coffee together.
Yes. Grab. A. Coffee.
Not only did I spend my weekend getting to know a most spectacular little human being but I got to go to the local café and not have to take a colouring book or amuse someone with my iPhone or bribe them with banana bread or smartie cookies while sculling boiling hot coffee.
I even had time to ponder a few theories on kids. My latest one is that over the weekend I did a parenting Bill and Ted. I went back in time to when I only had a 6 month old but I was able to bring my experience and knowledge with me – excellent. Nothing phased me. Tears are normal. Not sleeping is expected. Nappies are… well you never get used to them.
So, my suggestion to parents of kids and babies out there is, if you can, spend one on one time with your babies. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at just how good you are at this parenting caper and you’ll also get to know someone that is more than likely wonderful. And funny. And beautiful. And sweet smelling.. . (sorry – biased Dad moment).
How about you? Have you had one-on-one time with your second, third or fourth born recently? Have you given yourself an opportunity to go back in time but with the knowledge you now have? Do you think Bill and Ted should never have made the sequel?
To everyone that’s been asking about my lack of blogging this last few weeks, thanks. It has been very busy in Illiterate Land with family and work commitments putting blogging right at the bottom of the priority list. Things should start warming up again soon. Until then I’ll be posting when I can.