I was Daddy-Day-Care for a whole weekend last week.
A whole two and a half days just me and our seven month old daughter.
With my wife off to a wedding over 300 miles away (she really knows how to escape!), I was in charge of the household from Friday evening until whatever time my wife got back on Sunday.
I have to admit that I was nervous even if my plan to cope was to do what any red-blooded, independent, self-respecting man would do…I arranged to go to my parents for one of the nights!
First job was putting her to sleep. She simply lay down in her cot and was asleep within seconds. Result. Now I hadn’t considered my own needs and had to scratch together a rather unusual dinner but hey, my desires came second this weekend.
Heading up to bed later and I really was worried. What if Sophie woke up in the night? Do I feed her? Do I comfort her? As it turned out, my fears were unfounded. I gave her her snuggle blanket around 5 in the morning and then she carried on sleeping until 8am!
Breakfast time and I fed her porridge. She seemed fairly unimpressed with it but no screaming. We played and then I prepared us to go out to department store (Mummy birthday shopping).
It took a while but out we went and almost immediately we got pounced upon by the Clarins ladies. They loved Sophie and almost gave me a discount. Almost.
I needed to feed her so sat down on some benches just outside. As I gave her some milk, people walked past smiling You could sense the “Aww isn’t that cute”. I quite liked it!
Next, we braved Sainsburys and with Sophie fighting sleep I tried to put the sun cover over her. Big mistake. She got so angry and began to scream. She made so much noise in fact that I had to take her out of her buggy and carry her. Not easy when also carrying a clothes airer, a full shopping basket and trying to push a buggy!
Never before have I been so pleased to see a Girl Guide at the checkouts cheerfully asking if I wanted “any help with yer packing?”!!
After lunch, we had to go to the dreaded IKEA. On a Saturday afternoon. For one tiny item. Yikes.
Even before that, we had to leave the house. I’d packed all her things up, changed her half an hour previously and got the car sorted. Ready to go?
Well, as I went to put Sophie in the car I smelt something dodgy. Back in for another change. Just as I was pulling her tights up and heading out there was a mark on her vest. She can’t go to Gran and Grandad’s like that! Rush upstairs to get more clothes. Can we go now? Finally.
IKEA was a nightmare. I did enjoy swishing through the shortcuts to avoid other customers though, even if we had to queue for fifteen minutes at the checkouts and Sophie progressed from giggling-for-England to angriest baby ever. To be fair little girl, I could feel your pain!
Once we made it to Mum and Dad’s though, the pressure was off. They were a brilliant help and enjoyed watching their granddaughter playing, giggling and eating. I didn’t have to do anything like as much and Sophie was as good as gold. Result.
To top it all off, my wife arrived back from the wedding at just after 1pm the following day – way earlier than scheduled. Perhaps she wasn’t sure about leaving me for any longer with our baby girl!
So, having survived a weekend in sole charge of Sophie, I’m ready for my next challenge. A week? A month? A year? Ahh, I’m not quite sure how stay-at-home parents, single parents, childminders all do it! You are remarkable!