“Baby’s crying!” Shouted the toddler in the buggy at the neighbouring checkout.
That’s the point I realised my shopping trip was falling apart…
So I started teaching my class about Hitler yesterday.
That’s a lot for these 10 and 11 year olds to take in, right?
However, at the same time, they demonstrate a remarkable emotional maturity to deal with major themes, horrible tragedies and difficult topics.
It was the first time I’d had them all totally hooked on what I was saying.
“Would you like a hold?”
A year ago I, like most men, would have found this to be one of the most scary and intimidating questions another adult could ask me, usually with a child stretched out in their arms.
As a youngest child, with much older cousins, I’d never spent any time around babies.
And, by the time I was old enough to start seeing fellow adults with babies, I’d developed an inferiority complex around holding other people’s children – especially peaceful, sleeping ones.
Since I became a father six months ago, my vocabulary has been transformed.
Unbeknown to me, there was a whole world of language out there which I had never even been interested in and now I use all the time.
Sure, I’d heard of some of them, but my vague, ethereal understanding of their meaning has been cast into history. While not yet at teacher standard, I reckon I could make a decent fist of translating.
So here goes.
This time six months ago, my wife and I were looking at each other with a mixture of bemusement, excitement and fear.
Our tiny baby girl, 6lb 7oz, had arrived only hours earlier and suddenly we were responsible for her every demand.
We’d never looked after a child before, indeed I was usually the first to flee away from even holding one, and yet here I was with my own newborn to take care of.
(My initial fears and anxieties are summed up in this post I did for Geuther back in May)
But now, six months later, what’s changed?
An incredible number of things!
Long gone is the sleepy, rather grumpy, mini little newborn and in her place has grown a bright, alert, smiling baby. She loves to roll back to front (and occasionally back again) and will sit up unsupported. She has recently started on solid food and is grabbing her feet with great enthusiasm.
When I get home from work, it truly lights up my day to see her beaming smile and know that she is really happy to see me. There’s nothing better than that feeling. (If only I could train my class to do the same…?)
We are so grateful to God that by his grace he has given us Sophie. She has brought true blessing and joy (as well as anxiety, fear and a whole lot of baby wipes!) into our lives and we are so thankful for her.
Meanwhile, in terms of size, she’s gone from this…
…which is rather scary. When she was first born, anything bigger than newborn seemed absolutely gigantic. Can’t believe she’s in 6-9 month clothes and they’re fitting!
We’ve also discovered the limitless generosity of fellow parents and are so grateful. Sophie has been the most spoilt little girl in terms of borrowed clothing and equipment. And all far cooler clothes and designs than we would think to choose!
What’s more, she’s turning into a real social character. Happy to visit school, family, even weddings. In fact, yesterday she was grinning so much at two fellow babies (both male!) that Jess described her as “flirting”! As her Dad, I surely have to shut this down imminently 🙂
I’m also really thankful to Sophie for getting me into this blogging. Finally a purposeful way of exploring my desire to write. Which I’m sure you lot are all so grateful for!!!
The next six months brings road trips to weddings in the deep south, Christmas and more adventures with all sorts of food. Bring it on!
I’ve heard talk of people taking to the water like the proverbial duck and thought nothing of it.
In fact, if Sophie’s previous experience of water is anything to go by (Baby Splash – you sink or swim) then she was a long way away from spreading her wings and, er, swimming.
However, three months on and after her first official swimming lesson, she looks absolutely at home in the water.
Don’t get me wrong. She’s not exactly Michael Phelps or Ellie Simmonds just yet. But she’ll happily kick and splash her legs and even, shock horror, is happy to be dunked in and get her face wet.
We’ve come a long way since those horrific days of Humpty Dumpty’s great fall!
Perhaps in ten weeks time when her course of lessons is up, we may have a genuine water baby on our hands.
What a shame she’s too big for the Moses basket now otherwise that would have been perfect!
Getting in a lift used to be so mesmerising.
I can remember being younger and finding the whole idea of shutting myself into a steel box and shooting up and down between floors to be one of the most exciting events imaginable.
Fast forward the clock and now they are the most annoying shop accessory ever.
With a buggy in tow, lifts are our only option of navigating safely from one part of a shop to the other. And it’s always easier said than done.
And so it finishes.
#GetGoodSummer has been a fantastic challenge set out by Claire at Clarina’s Contemplations who pushed bloggers to achieve five goals over the last ten weeks.
Initially, I was very sceptical about completing them but looking back it’s been a great experience and I’ve managed to succeed at all of them…ish.
Who’d have thought I’d have ended the summer as a skipping, guitar-jamming, Scripture-quoting, racket smashing chef…? Not me that’s for sure. (and I’m not convinced I did…!)
This is how I got on!
Since having Sophie, our conversations have shifted completely.
Now, rather than simply debate the ins and outs of Blackburn Rovers’ transfer policy (with more people than you’d think!), how work is or the political issues of the day (Ok, that didn’t happen with many!), the young baby in my arms has made a huge difference to the subject matter.
And often, it’s all about her, perpetuated with various oohs and aahs as she does incredibly advanced (in our eyes) things.
So what does this change look like? Continue reading