Today the wife was at work and baby was at the childminder. This happens three days a week so not exactly a major news piece. Except that today,well today had the Halley’s factor.
Today I had a day off.
I have not had this much time to myself for almost twenty months.
So I have put the glass in the cupboard doors, put up coat hooks, hung some pictures, moved the wife’s electric piano, put up some more coat hooks, raised the side on baby’s cot bed, and got myself all sorted to hang the new curtain rail first thing tomorrow morning (when the wife’s job, baby’s three day stint with the childminder and my last day off before my last day in* align for the final time). I started at 8 and I finished at 5 and the longest I stopped was to make a cup of tea. I don’t work that hard when I’m being paid.
You might wonder whether such precious moments might have been better spent asleep, or overdosing on Netflix or indeed anything involving not having to put on proper clothes and not smelling funny all day.
Are you nuts???
Do you know how long it takes to hang a simple picture frame when you become a dad? Twenty months. Yes, you heard me, twenty fucking months. And our baby’s only just about to turn a year.
You get a moment when you can drill a hole in a wall and not worry about baby being there to chow down on brick dust and rawlplugs and that’s gold, that’s sprinkly magic faerie dust on the end of a frog-kissed rainbow and you do not waste that time on nothing. You know full well that if you do not act like Leon without hesitation it’s going to be another twenty months before you get to hang that picture without fear of having to explain to the wife/Dr/Facebook how baby swallowed three screws and ate a cable tie.
Babies take up all your waking hours. And sometimes they do that even when they’re still inside. This can be a source of frustration for dads who want to get on and fix this or build that and spruce up the cave like a good male-of-the-species should. But it’s not going to happen my friend, not in these first couple of years and you need to get over that. If you have anything major planned you want to get that finished sometime between the third and sixth month of pregnancy and then give it up and wait. Your baby’s going to be demanding 100% of you 24/7 and you need to answer that call.
Your time will come and when it does you will, like me, be rewarded with the full feeling flushness of jobs finished and tasks fulfilled. Tomorrow I will put up our curtain rail and then I will let go once again.
Anyway, if I really wanted to sleep that badly I’d go to bed early.
This evening baby brung on the shouty and dealt Mummy’s pillow a merciless punishment with his pyjama trousers which was as funny and beautiful as it sounds.
* I leave my job on Wednesday, and start a new on just after Easter. I might at some point cover the joys of being made redundant when you’re a new dad.