Daddy Day Care is down in the dumps. His paternity leave is over and he has had to go back to work. “It feels like the end of something” he confided before we went to sleep on Sunday. I actually really felt for him. I’ve watched him develop such a special bond with Willow over the last five weeks and I think it’s hit home how lucky he’s been to take paternity leave and how much he’s going to miss her. I reassured him that it’s not the end, it’s actually the beginning of the next phase of our family life. This is our life now – coordinating nursery, Grandy, dropping off, picking up, who’s got the car seat, making sure bags are packed, work clothes are ironed, lunches are made, hair is washed (or dry shampooed in my case). No doubt it’s going to be chaos for a bit but I reckon we’ll get the hang of it like we’ve got the hang of most things since our beautiful little tornado turned life upside down forever.
Yesterday was day one of none mummy and daddy childcare, Grandy was on duty and by 10:30am I’d had a phone call at work enquiring about how to secure the car seat using the seat belt (despite a full on demo on Sunday). I made the mistake of asking how they were getting on while on the phone and ascertained that Willow hadn’t had a nap but had finished her milk. Willow 101: milk triggers sleep, one cannot work independently of the other. If you miss your nap window you are basically screwed. That left me sat at my desk wondering how Grandy was going to cope with a napless, grumpy child all afternoon. It’s a learning curve for us all – for me to not ask questions and for Grandy to administer milk as instructed. I imagine Willow will run rings round her in the coming weeks. She’s pretty much crawling now and is saying da-da on repeat (yeah thanks for that – I don’t care if it’s easier to say, mama was with you and breastfeeding you for 99% of the last eight months and that’s the bloody thanks I get, humph).
And she’s going to nursery!
As I pack up her little nursery bag (which is actually bigger than her) I can honestly say I don’t feel too bad about it (it might not be the same story when I drop her off….) She surprised us at her settling in sessions by belting out the obligatory wails but then settled down, interacted with the other babies ie grabbed at their faces (must remember to cut her nails super short), had a play outside, munched on a bagel and did a massive poo. Business as usual then. Nursery are already inclined to think I’m going to be more troublesome than Willow. ‘Neurotic mother alert’ said the nursery worker’s eyes as I reeled off my list of dos and don’ts: No sweets or biscuits (I am the sugar police but cake is allowed on special occasions), no cows milk or juice; water or formula only, only use our organic bum cream and sun cream etc etc. Daddy day care (can I still call him that?) was mortified. I could tell he was willing me to shut up but I just want to make sure they care for her at nursery as we do at home. It was water off a duck’s back to me. I’m far more assertive now I’m a mama (yey!), especially when it comes to Willow. Not to worry, I expect they’ve had training in dealing with errant parents as well as children.
So here we go… this is our lives. Bring it on.