Happy New year to you all. I am now half-way through my paternity leave and I will have to admit that the “Father of the year” award might be slightly out of reach for me this year. I will get to that, but first let me tell you that I will write to the government and make it clear that this should not be called paternity leave. It is paternity work. I have so much respect for all those full-time parents, your day is fully organised by eating, putting little one to bed, cleaning up, making food, changing baby,… I am keeping up with the schedule but will admit that my wife sent me some handy SMS reminders during the day in the beginning. And then you need to use the few free moments to get the basics done: Shower, eat, check on the Ashes and soccer results,…
You wonder why I don’t think I will win the Father of the year award…well…okay here some not so pretty truth:
- I always thought I would not buy many toys for my kids…but man are they fun. I am buying those toys because its fun to teach him something new with building blocks, and shape sorters, and Duplo blocks, and have you seen the Ballapalooza…you get the gist. By now we are drowning in toys that Papa thought might be nice to play with. And really for an adult who keeps buying lego sets for himself (have you seen the recent millennium falcon set?), should I have really expected anything else from myself?
- Somewhat related is the “we will keep it tidy” idea that I had. And then there is the realisation that your trip from the bedroom to the bathroom at night is now a dangerous endeavour through a minefield of sharp or loud objects…I wonder is it worse to have a sharp pain under your foot or to trigger a loud noise that makes the little one wake up…I let you judge that…I swear the enemy (see picture below) is getting cleverer every day
- And of course there is the “we will not let him watch TV until he is old enough”…”Are you thinking what I am thinking B1?”, “I think I am B2”, “It’s papa let’s me watch TV time” Papa gave up and uses a bit of TV once in a while to keep him under control when feeding. And I let you guess which one is his favourite TV show? Oh well I have fond memories of the shows I watched as a kid.
But apart from that the two of us get along well and time flies. We go to weekly swimming lessons together which is fun. We explore the local parks. And since he started walking around Christmas, I am chasing around the house to protect him from the furniture (or is it the other way around?!?).
And then there are those moments when you wonder what is going through his head. I bought him a set of the construction toys, one of them a CAT excavator. And then one of the real ones turns up next door to demolish the house next door. What goes through the head of the little man when his toy all of sudden has a gigantic brother? Is that scary or incredibly cool? I wish he could tell me.
My leave was sweetened by getting promoted to Managing Director in December which gave me reason to celebrate with family – and again just like later at Christmas, I wonder what the little one is thinking? Perhaps: Why is everyone so happy today and why am I not the centre of attention as usual? Our joint birthday is coming up and will mark the end of my paternity leave and for that celebration the little man will be the centre of all attention. The other birthday boy will gladly stand aside and enjoy the loudest birthday party he has had in a long time with the coolest birthday cake (yes I know it’s for the little one, but still 😉) I will post one more time to reflect back before heading back into the office in February.