So I’m on day 3 of daddy day care. I’m still in one piece. So is Owen. So that’s a good thing. Prior to Monday the longest stretch I’ve had alone with Owen was last Friday for about 7 hours when Kate went shopping for work clothes. Prior to that I’d only done a couple 4 hour stretches (which I sort of feel ashamed of). So this week was bound to be a good test of my parenting skills.
The schedule this week (and pretty much ongoing) requires all of us to get up earlier, so Kate could get out the door around 7. Now, you would not really call me a morning person, but I am used to get up early, often needing to be out the door around 6:30 for shoots, and I find for times I am good and awake. This week the problem is that I have to get up early and then put on my social, smiley face to entertain Owen. This morning stretch between waking up and his first nap (around 8:30/9) has been the hardest part of the day for me, because we’re not going to go anywhere and I still feel like I’m not awake, and Owen seems ready for his nap by 8am, but I don’t want to put him down that early. I found that today, day 3, it got better, though, and I feel more awake and had more to do with Owen.
On Monday his first nap was only 1 hour. Yesterday it was 2 and I am keeping my fingers crossed he’ll do the same right now. The difference between the 1 hour and 2 hour nap is night and day. I was able to get so much more done, and he seemed much happier after yesterday’s nap. When we’re at home, I find I have to break things into 5-10 minute activities before he wants to move on. There is a lot of moving from one room to the next. I think Kate is better at this part (well at most parts) than I am, and I can’t seem to keep him as engaged in one thing for very long. The afternoons have been better, just because they are filled with more feedings (bottles and solid food) plus we’ve left the house both afternoons. On Monday to visit Kate at her office (and bring her home) and yesterday to go to my office to pick up some stuff. I think leaving the house is key, because I am finding it very easy for both of us to go stir crazy when we’re home all day. Plus it’s very hard for me to just talk to Owen all day. Baby talk can sort of make you go insane I think. Today’s outing will be very exciting as we get to go to the dentist (who happens to be my father/Owen’s grandfather) so that I can get a filling. Oh boy!!!
My general feeling is that I am happy to get some time to spend one on one with Owen, but I would find it pretty hard (and not completely fulfilling) if that was my full-time responsibility. I think once we start day care in 2 weeks, the balance for Owen of three days there and then 4 days at home with mommy and daddy (and the balance for Kate and I of working 4 days during the week and 1 day at home) will be great for all of us. But the highlights of this experience is that I have several tricks up my sleeve for making Owen laugh, which is really one of the most fun things to make him do. We’ve been singing and dancing around our house, listening to Lady Gaga and other pop music as a break from his kid’s albums, and he seems to like those just as much. And next week I’m thinking of taking him out to lunch so I can pick up waitresses.