It’s always a bit nerve-racking doing something you’ve never done before, especially when the health and well being of a small human is at stake.
But that’s what my wife has trusted me with by allowing me to look after Sophie for the next six weeks.
In case you think I’m exaggerating, imagine the consequences for her life if I did a really naff job of it. It doesn’t really bear thinking about!
Here’s a few things I’m looking forward to and one or two to dread.
1. Being a token Dad
My wife is on the social Mums scene – as far as I can tell it’s lots of talking about girl stuff, swapping notes on feeding patterns and discussing the world’s newest routines. Not an easy way in.
As I head to her groups, with Sophie being far more recognisable than me, I’ll possibly pick up on those conversations or I’ll make my own. Either way, it’ll be fun!
2. Being a big kid
Some might argue that being a primary school teacher makes me halfway towards being a kid again anyway. Well, with an 11 month old in hand, it’s compulsory for me to take on that role. It’s fun for Sophie…right?
3. Sending the photos
Over the past five months, my WhatsApp has been getting regular photos of our little girl enjoying various different aspects of life, bringing a smile to my face whatever is happening in my day. It’ll be great to share those times with her and picture my wife’s happiness at receiving little snippets of our fun.
Will I get to see her walk for the first time? Will my name graduate from “Ah-ah-ah-ah-a” (which without the -s looks like she’s laughing at me) to Dada or even Daddy? How much fun will her first birthday be? So excited.
THINGS TO DREAD
1. Shopping Centres
Occasionally, my wife’s idea of entertainment for Sophie was taking her off to a big shopping centre and traipsing round there. It even became a social scene for her. For someone whose legs go tired and woozy at the mere thought of shopping, this is a terrifying contemplation!
2. Being the token Dad
There’s something about being the only Dad in a swimming pool full of mums which makes me feel slightly awkward! Or trying to empathise with “Mum” conversation topics. If anyone’s got any tips for navigating this minefield, I’m very receptive. Still, Sophie’s not bothered so maybe I shouldn’t be either.
In six weeks time, when it’s all over, I’ll look back on all of these things and laugh… or cry!