“Daddy Day Care”

Today was the first day that I was the parent exclusively responsible for Sage’s care.

It started earlier than I wanted it to (but, to be fair, I haven’t slept in as long as I’d like more than once in the past three years, so that wasn’t exactly a stress factor this morning), and after giving Sage her morning bottle I came downstairs just as Ann was leaving for work. We played for a good long while, having fun with all sorts of toys she received for Christmas. She was in just a fantastic mood, and almost the entire morning was smiles and laughs and singing and clapping. (I accomplished nothing but playing. I don’t regret that one bit.) There was a lot of nasty baby smells for a while (note: she laughs when she farts loudly, and then she blows raspberries) and a Sage-patented DiaperBomb™, but no big deal.

Then it was time for her morning nap; I could tell because she got cranky really quickly, and when I looked at the clock, it was a little bit past the time I had expected she would get cranky. I went to the freezer for some breastmilk and put the pouch in the pitcher full of hot water to get it going.

And a seam split.

The milk was now wasted. I felt terrible about it, but it’s not like I could control that, so I let it go. By now, she was really cranky, so I had to make up a bottle as quickly as possible. Then, as I was carrying her up the stairs, I discovered that she had wet through her pajamas. When I unbuttoned them, I discovered that one whole side had come undone. Now, I’m not a novice when it comes to diapers — I’ve changed them for over a year now and my first diaper change this morning had contained the DiaperBomb™ — but for some reason lately I’ve been having trouble with the current batch. This was the worst it had gotten. Thank goodness it was just pee.

I cleaned her up and changed her and she had her bottle, and she went right to sleep. I knew she’d be hungry when she woke up, and the plan was to make grilled cheese, so as it got closer and closer to lunch/wake-up time, I prepped. Sure enough, just as I finished assembling the sandwich (pre-heating), she woke up. She started calling “Dadda? Dadda? Deddydeddydeddydeddy?” which made my heart melt; when I entered her room she smiled and squealed and clapped her hands and made a fishy-face kissy-noise that means I’m being allowed the rare opportunity to give her a kiss without her pushing back and turning her head. I melted away completely at that point. I changed her again and brought her downstairs, where she played while I finished making her lunch. I cut the sandwich into 25 pieces. She ate six and then started throwing it off the tray and pulling it out of her mouth. I was not prepared for this.

I finished my own lunch and the rest of her sandwich, and while doing that I made her some toast with applesauce on it and gave her some puffs. She ate pretty much the whole piece of toast and then clearly didn’t want anything else. I decided not to push it.

When it came time for her afternoon nap, she had taken on a full-blown case of the crankypants, and despite taking a full bottle (I put the frozen milk pouch into a Ziploc in the hot water, so if the seam split I’d still have a container of non-diluted milk; I am a genius) she was not interested in napping. Eventually we gave up and she came back downstairs to play some more. The rest of the afternoon had a bit of an edge to it, where she would play and smile and laugh and then suddenly get really, really fussy. I had my hands pretty full with keeping her entertained, because if I left her alone for even a moment to, say, grab myself a soda, she’d start crying and crawl after me so I would pick her up — at which point she would immediately want to be put down. She wanted a snack in the afternoon, which I hadn’t really considered, but about 20 Cheerios and she was fine.

Suppertime was a bit easier, as she never passes up the opportunity to wolf down yogurt. We followed that with some “Applesauce Deluxe” and a few (very few) more puffs.

After a little while to play around, it was bedtime. As soon as I picked her up I discovered that she had another DiaperBomb™ waiting for me. She wouldn’t take much of her final bottle of the night, and I realized she was chewing on it more than drinking from it. I gave her some Tylenol because I could tell she was working at the gums at the spot where we see a tooth just barely peeking through, and she was pretty upset about it. Just getting the Tylenol into her seemed to calm her down, as if she’s already figured out that the medicinal grape taste means tooth pain goes away. Maybe she has; she’s pretty smart.

I sang her a few nighttime songs and put her down in the crib. I thought she was going to fuss and cry the way she had for her afternoon nap, but she gave one grumpy groan and then closed her eyes tight, pushed the side of her face down into the mattress, and sighed. She never made a peep as I left the room.

So that was all-day Daddy Daycare. I think I did all right. I’m sure there were a few things that Ann would have done differently, but I don’t think there was anything I did wrong. Parenting — and blogging about parenting — can be tricky, because people are so quick to jump on you if they think you did something wrong. (If you’re getting ready to do that because you think I did something wrong, please know that your comment will be deleted and if I know you we’re going to have a totally different conversation.)

What did Daddy learn?

(1) You’re never too young for farts to be hilarious.
(2) Frozen milk bags can burst seams even if you’re careful.
(3) It’s possible to be completely manipulated by a one-year-old’s joy to the point where you would gladly buy her a pony and kill anyone she frowned at.
(4) It’s not smart to eat a Cheerio left on a tray, because she may have already sucked on it for a while.
(5) That if money were no object, I’d do this every day.

This entry was posted in Family, Fatherhood and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to “Daddy Day Care”

  1. Jackie Young says:

    David, I love your blogs about Sage. So happy you get to experience and enjoy the things that some people take for granted. Time goes so fast…as you get older, the faster it goes.

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