It’s been a week. And what a week it has been. I have been at home, on my own, with our baby during the day and I discovered something: it’s hard work. I know this will not come as a surprise to other stay at home parents and particularly not to my wife who has done a fantastic job for the previous 8 months.
It’s been hard, tiring, sometimes frustrating and emotional but overall fun. We have walked all over Islington (about 87km over the 5 days according to my step counter app). We have visited 6 different children’s centres for stay and plays and A has eaten lots of different foods. There has been laughing, crying, screaming and lots of mess (and that’s just from me!)
The stay and plays have been a particular revelation for me. Across the borough there are several on every day, they are all laid out on the councils website and they are free. A and I really enjoy going to them. They break up the day nicely, provide new spaces for A to play, different toys and – most importantly – other children. A loves seeing other small people, both her age and older ones. She enjoys seeing toddlers walking (I think for her she enjoys seeing what she will be working on next) and tries to talk to the other babies and their parents. A has become a very proficient crawler in a matter of weeks and if I am not quick she has been known to pinch other children’s toys and crawl off with them gleefully (I hope I am not raising a playground bully!) A is still a little unsure when it comes to other babies her own age and actually playing with them but I am sure this will come with practice and time. For me, stay and plays are a nice way to meet other parents, mostly mums but occasionally I am not the only SAHD in the group, and chat to other adults (mostly about our children) and this helps me stave of the madness that I am sure would follow if I had no adult contact in a day. I have only been going to them for a week but have already seen some people more than once and am getting to know some of the staff who recognise me and A which feels lovely. I will defiantly be making stay and play part of our routine.
The other adventure for me has been getting to grips with feeding A. We have been trying lots of different things, finding out what she likes (most things) and what she doesn’t (very little). Some favourites have included banana on toast, avocado, strawberries, plums, homemade fish cakes and a variety of Ella’s Organics (A is a fan of the bolognese and Moroccan chicken ones). A loves her food and is learning to drink really well from her 360 cup. I really enjoy meal times with A and thinking up things for her to eat is great. A regular is baked sweet potato which is really easy and she loves it, though as her palate develops I may add some herbs and spices as she really doesn’t enjoy anything too bland or without a texture.
At home we have invented a new game. It’s called ‘daddy lion’. This largely involves me behaving like a lion, crawling around and roaring and trying to creep up on A. She always spots me and giggles a lot as she then tries to creep up on me. Of course I always win. She isn’t sneaky as she keeps giggling but I don’t gloat, she is only young and it just wouldn’t seem right to make her feel bad.
We also got some play silks this week. She enjoyed them so much at a stay and play that I went on amazon and got them straight away! She enjoyed taking them out of their packaging with me and likes to pull them out of the bag I have stored them in now. We also use them for a sensory calm down during the day where she lays on her back and I waft them over her. Perhaps this is a hang over from my days and an SEN teacher but it seems to calm her (or sometimes get her more excited, there seem to be no certainties in this game!).
The other thing we are dealing with at the moment is teething. We have been through it before, we had a month a while back where A sprouted 4 sharp pincers that she is very proud of, but now we are back to teething with a vengeance. At its worst last week, A was waking up every hour for the first half of the night then every two. During the day she is a little more irritated than usual but at night is when she really lets her discomfort known. I suppose this is to be expected as during the day she has distractions. Hopefully this period of teething will pass soon, A will be furnished with some new knashers and she can get back to the good, self soothing sleep that she had achieve in the weeks before this horror.
Well there we have it, that’s some bits of the first week as a SAHD. One down and only about 109 weeks to go before she is three and starts at some sort of nursery. But that is far too far away to think about. That’s all from me for now. More soon.