This time two weeks ago I was in my classroom pondering if paternity leave would ever start.
My wife was a week overdue, I’d unexpectedly returned from half term to my class of children who were just as surprised to see me as I them.
Fourteen days later, amidst the whirlwind of Harry’s arrival and settling down, the time has come for me to return.
And I’m gutted to be saying bye to my family, for the daytimes at least.
When Sophie was born, she was in hospital for a week and then we spent the following seven days coping with a medical diagnosis, hanging out on children’s wards and coming to terms with the fact we were parents.
Us? Parents? I know.
This time though, it couldn’t have been different.
Armed with a clean bill of health from Day 1 and his big sister on hand to help out and shower him with love, Harry has been doing phenomenally and the last two weeks have been some of the best of my life.
We are so grateful for all the support, warmth and food (!) we have been given by our amazing family and friends who have really looked after us.
And in that time, we have done some really special things.
Taking Sophie swimming has been so much fun, Harry watching from the sidelines and, while not exactly cheering her on, inspiring her to be extra brave in the water.
We went on a train into town to get him registered and Sophie loved pointing out the sights and sounds.
He’s visited toddler groups where mums have cooed over him and I’ve charged round with our little girl.
Even the days when Sophie has been going to nursery have been lovely. Times inside just chilling with Harry and having a rest on the sofa have been well received and highly enjoyable. Tuesday and Wednesday became the calmest days of the week.
Harry has been keeping us guessing as to his sleep pattern but that’s OK – taking naps at odd times of the day has become the norm.
He’s had a steady stream of visitors who have entertained us, brought some amazing gifts for him – and for Sophie, the lucky girl! – and given him lots of attention. It’s been so great to see so many of our friends in such a short space of time.
On a side note, I’ve raced on with some of the TV programmes I’m into at the moment – Cold Feet, Westworld, The Missing …the list goes on. I even completed Metal Gear Solid!
Not sure at all how this will continue once the daily commitments of planning, teaching, marking, assessing rekicks in.
It has been the most wonderful and enjoyable two weeks and seems to have passed in the blink of an eye.
However, on the flipside, I know how blessed I have been to have this time. Many people in our country don’t have the luxury of taking two weeks off and around the world paternal rights vary wildly.
So I give thanks for the time we’ve had as a little family and relish with even greater anticipation the weekends ahead. Counting down to Saturday already.