Dad Leave

March 3, 2012 at 3:59 pm 1 comment

I haven’t had time to devote to writing an essay recently because my free time is at a premium and my ability to focus is obstructed by the general business of Life x 2(kid). The best news is I will be taking the month of March off from work for paternity leave. Hop Mom goes back to work next week. It will be my first time flying solo with two kids.

I hope it goes better than my first day alone with my daughter.

The Sound and The Fury

My first night of solo parenting was a nightmare; the little one cried and cried for hours. I eventually drove her for 35 screaming minutes across town to my wife’s workplace just to see if the child was capable of NOT crying. It was like bringing a car to the mechanic with the horn constantly blaring.

Over time my daughter developed what I dubbed “The Witching Hour”. At 8PM every night that infant’s air horn would start up and go on for at least an hour. I spent a lot of time walking lap after lap around the house with my swaddled child in attempt to soothe her savage cries. She was not happy being stuck with me for another motherless evening and my feeble attempts at humming “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” only succeeded in making me hoarse.

It wasn’t a surprise to me that my first days of solo parenting would be difficult. But I didn’t expect a boot camp run by a tiny, milk-swilling, drill sergeant. So, to hedge my bet I’m going to predict that solo parenting this second child will be easier, with a hope that it really is easier.

Round Two

One reason I’m not expecting this next shift to be quite as difficult is due in some part to experience. I’ve been down this road before. No longer do I jump at every cry or try to get more than one thing done at a time while tending to the kids. Part of my frustration during those early parenting days was my inability to get anything accomplished besides child care tasks. Now I know during this early stage that everything else will just have to wait. There simply isn’t time to focus on anything else.

Also, Little Brother is a cool customer compared to his sister at this age. He only fusses when he really needs something and as soon as that need is met he becomes a happy, little Buddha again; content to sleep, be held, and look at interesting shirts patterns. He also smiles at me, a lot. Big Sister didn’t do that for months.

Bouncing Down a New Road

This is an important phase for both my son and I. He will learn how to get along without Mom for a while. I will learn how to get along without Mom for a while.
Eventually we will communicate with each other and develop our own ways of having fun.

Or I’ll be on the freeway headed to my wife’s workplace while my son screams for Mom to rescue him.

Entry filed under: Being Dad. Tags: , , , , , , , .

My Child Goes to 11 Dad Return

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Anissa Mathias  |  March 4, 2012 at 11:00 am

    Good luck. I hope it goes smoothly for you. Having been a single parent, I know what it’s like to quiet a baby that just isn’t feeling the while “quiet” thing.


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