At first it was a simple plan. Bex would work mornings. I’d work nights. We’d trade the baby off in the parking lot. I guess you can call it a perk of us working at the same company. What could possibly go wrong? To be honest, not much.
Our day usually starts around four-thirty. When Bex gets up to go to work, Luke usually wakes up with her. After four hours of sleep, you’d think it would be hard for me to wake up with them. You would be right. And I’m sure it’s a given that I wouldn’t be in a good mood, at least not until I’ve had my coffee and a Red Bull. Yes, I said, “and”. How can anyone possibly be grumpy when they wake up next to a little face like Luke’s smiling and giggling at them? You simply can’t. And that’s why I need all the caffeinated assistance available at that hour. So there we are, nursing our respective bottles and getting in a little play time before he goes back down for nap number one.
They tell you to sleep when baby sleeps, but what they don’t tell you is that a day with a baby is all about timing. This nap is not my nap. This nap will only last about twenty minutes at most, so it’s the perfect nap for me to shit, shower, and shave. By the time I’m done. he’s up and raring to go.
I like to call the next part our day the “anything can happen” part of our day. This is where we either decide to cuddle, play music, read a book, or strap him into the carrier while I do chores. Have you ever washed the dishes with a baby strapped to your chest? It’s inconvenient, cumbersome, and entertaining all at once. I wish I had the shear delight at soap bubbles that my son does. Sometimes we will combine chores and music time thanks to the glorious inventions of Amazon Music or Spotify. But other times, I sit him in his bouncy chair and serenade him as I strum our acoustic guitar. Jimmy Buffett songs were a big hit, same with seventies rock and show tunes. As you can tell, we have developed a serious case of musical ADD.
Some days though, my favorite days, we throw all this routine aside, leash up the dog and walk to the park. It’s only a few blocks away but Luke usually falls asleep en route. Then I get a little laugh when he wakes up with wide eyes, wondering how in the hell we got here. By then, I’ve laid a blanket down on the grass and pulled out whatever book we’ve been reading. So far we’ve read, some Stephen King, “Silence Of The Lambs”, “Sherlock Holmes”, and the movie novelization of “Batman”. Remember, it’s not what you read, it’s how you read it. Lately, we have also been spending time on the baby swings. He’s just getting big enough to hold himself up in them.
By the time we get home, it’s almost time for the trade off. But first, we lunch. On the menu is pureed carrots for Luke and maybe a cheeseburger for IncrediDad. By the end of it, I usually wind up cleaning a mess off of both our faces. Then it’s down for nap number two. This is the one where I nap with him for maybe an hour if I’m lucky. After we wake up, it’s into the car seat he goes and we drive to work. The trade-off with mommy happens smoothly. Kisses for daddy. Then I’m off to work until one in the morning. I get a couple hours sleep and we do it all over again. Thankfully, Bex and I have the same days off so to catch up on sleep, we tag team.
Sure, there are occasional mornings where I wake up and wish I could get a few more hours of sleep. What if Bex could drop him off at day care on her way into work? Should we send him to it? If so, do we do full-time or part-time? At some places it’s the same price for both. Or should we keep it as a back-up. Emergencies do happen after all. Bex and I had a long talk about this. We weighed the pros and cons but we couldn’t reach a decision until the other day.
Luke was laughing his head off but in a split second that laugh turned into a howling cry. I know my kid well enough to know that he was tired. So, IncrediDad swooped in, cradled him in my arms, and sang him to sleep. But I wondered if someone else would know, someone who wasn’t his IncrediDad or IncrediMom. Would they be patient enough with him to find out what he needs? Probably. But then I’d miss out on all that fun with him. Bex agreed, we are lucky enough to have this am/pm arrangement, so lets enjoy it as long as we can.
Someday he will have to go to day care and then school but we have plenty of years ahead of us for that. Aside from constantly feeling like we’re never going to see the underside of our blankets again, this arrangement seems to be working out. It feels right. If all else fails, we can train our Zoey dog to act like Nana from “Peter Pan”. Wouldn’t she look cute in that maid’s outfit? – Problem solved.
If you’re wondering where I’ve been, now you know. We’ve been finding a new normal with mommy and daddy both back to work. But the IncrediDad never rests. There’s always a dirty diaper lurking in the shadow, a temper tantrum teetering on the verge, and a new blog post at the tips of my finger tips. I’ll see you here soon. Same IncrediSite. Same IndrediDad.