It looks like having a baby will probably mean I finally start taking my days off off. If caring for a baby can be considered a day off. At the moment I think it can, as I find all of it utterly delightful. Not sure that this will continue forever, but days away from my ever-changing daughter mean that I want to spend as much time with her as possible.
I arrived back home just before 2am, in time to feed the baby and change her nappy. She was so excited to see me that she filled her nappy several times for me. Usually I would take a couple of hours to get to sleep after a long drive home, so this worked out perfectly. Phoebe didn’t want to sleep and although I really did after a while, I didn’t mind too much as I got to hug her and look at her.
And I was up early and ended up doing all the feeds and nappy changes today. Phoebe was keener to sleep now, but as she fell asleep on my chest I didn’t mind. If she hadn’t been here I would just have spent all day playing Addams Family Pinball (the fact I didn’t even play it once all day shows how much I like holding her instead) and pretending to work. Today I relaxed and cuddled my daughter and contemplated eating her, but delicious as she looks I decided not to, because then I wouldn’t be able to hold her anymore. Or maybe just her bones. Which I think wouldn’t be as cute or delightful. Loving your baby so much that you want to eat it is a charming thing. Loving your baby so much that you actually eat it (arguably showing a greater degree of love for it) is almost universally abhorred. The world of ethics and morality is a mine field.
This was the first day I have felt properly tired caring for Phoebe and my wife was also knackered (almost like having to look after the baby for four days is somehow four times harder). Catie went out this morning so I was on my own with the baby for a few hours, possibly for the first time. I suddenly felt a bit scared again. If anything went wrong or I forgot how to so stuff then I was on my own and 100% responsible. A man arrived delivering my Scope programmes for the second half of the tour. I put Phoebe in her pram whilst I helped him load them into the house. Then I tried to move the carrycot part of the pram into the kitchen so I could make myself some breakfast. I hadn’t fixed the handle on and it turned into a bit of a roller coaster ride for Phoebe. It was quite hard to manoeuvre and I was tired but luckily she only ended up rolling a tiny amount and didn’t come flying out of her bed, even though I slightly lost control of what I was doing for a second. I am sure I will drop the baby at some point, but it would have been embarrassing to do it the first time my wife had trusted me to care for her.
It is very hard work looking after a baby alone, so much respect to anyone who has to do this most or all of the time. I gave up trying to do much more than get her bottles ready, change her nappy and let her sleep on me. Like I say, it’s good to be forced to have a day off from work and all of this was extremely fulfilling. Nearly three weeks in and I can already sense how quickly this passes. She’s still small, but had grown even in the days I was away. She has a mirror on her playmat and she likes looking at herself and seemingly having a little chat with the other chirruping baby she can see.
We took Phoebe down to Hammersmith Town Hall to get her birth certificate sorted out. I was telling Phoebe what an important day this was, though she was asleep (though possibly affecting nonchalance). As it turned out though as our baby was born in another borough we had to register her there, so we had a wasted and exhausting walk. We would have to return to the land of her birth another day. It reminded me a little bit of the journey taken by another family because of bureaucracy, 2015 years ago. I am not saying Phoebe is Jesus. I don’t want to upset any more audience members and if people get furious out James Bond potentially being played by a black man and Doctor Who becoming a woman, then imagine what a furore if Jesus came back and he didn’t have a cock.
I did get to pay in the last few days of coins for Scope on the trip and the Hammersmith Natwest has an exciting new coin machine that looks a bit like a salad spinner crossed with one of those machines you dry your trunks in at the pool. You put in your coin and it counts them and then gives you a slip of paper so you can pay them in at the counter. It seemed to work better than their other coin machine (certainly today as it was out of order), though the man seemed a bit surprised that i had paid in over £700 of coins (had already paid some in so this run of four gigs earned well over £1000 for SCOPE).
The walk to fail to register our child’s birth had wiped us out. I gave my wife a break from the baby and slept in the nursery bed with Phoebe in her cot. We went to bed at 8pm. Though I quite liked breaking my sleep up into two to three hour sections and coped with being ripped out of the dreamscape for more nappies or feeding. I had hoped not to disturb my wife at all. but Phoebe was again awake and alert for that early morning session between three and five and although I have still remained patient with her and not got annoyed with her at all, however much she refuses to sleep, I did have to give my wife the last session of baby care. Sleep is so much more welcome than it’s ever been. On the plus side, being tired means that bizarrely I am sleeping much better than usual and my dreams are like movies. One tonight even had an unexpected twist at the end, which is impressive given I was making the whole thing up.