Monday, November 09, 2009

Stay at home dadding

I've take a few days off to cover Beloved's return to work, a day a week, up to the end of the year. I took the first last week. Though as longer term readers will know I was on a 4 day week for a while with Bear alone, this was the longest I've spent on sole care of the kids, now there are 2.

It was hard of course, but fun. I had learned a lesson from the early days with Bear that if you try to fit complex things into your day it can all go pear shaped. This is more flexible once you've been doing it for a while, know the routine inside out and can balance 2 poos in one hand while finishing off a Thomas the Tank Engine jigsaw with the other.

As a moment of relief from my gibbering, I present an old school friend, one of the recipients of the email that led to my reunion post, who is now a proper home dad and blogging about it: Aussie House Dad.

Beloved is sometimes pretty strained on those long days at home with 2 kids, especially when Bear decides to push the boundaries at crucial moments of stress. I did appreciate this, but lasted approximately 3 hours before my own best efforts started to deteriorate. Mitts was starting to holler for food (quite reasonably) and I was zooming around pulling lunch together in the kitchen. I'd agreed to make Bear some eggs (a fave, along with sushi -!?!) and the balancing act was getting delicate. Bear decided to start pulling everything out of the cupboard and the poor girl accidentally poured couscous everywhere. In a slightly raised, firm voice I said something like "If you do that again SWEETheart I will NOT have time to cook your eggs!"

She ran immediately out of the kitchen and I followed her, realising instantly I'd been a bit too harsh. She went straight to the naughty corner and stood there, looking mortified. I didn't have a mirror dear reader but I am sure I looked pretty mortified too! A few hugs later and we were back in business (with another hug for Mitts of course on the way through) and food did, eventually, get served.


Bonding. Through triumph over adversity (my incompetence being a specific case of force majeure in the children's lives that must be overcome) we will have us some bonding.


The Accidental Housewife said...

Dude. Seriously? Your hard day is couscous and a naughty corner? I'm mumming completely by myself for eight months. This week we've had the main markers of sickness explosively coming out ALL holes, on me and baby simultaneously. I would KILL to have a couscous problem. Sorry about the lack of sympathy...

Ann oDyne said...

1. probably a mistake to debate cause and effect with a tinytot.
"if you do that, Daddy will be sad and cry" is the Guilt-Trip road to reasoning success.

2. am pleased for the mother who has made a break for The Other Side.
3. and how cool to have an old schoolmate doing the same thing.

Onya, Magny.

JahTeh said...

I didn't have a naughty corner in my day but then I would have been in line for a naughty country where I would have crated them up and shipped them out.

It was the over-abundance of imagination that nearly tipped me over the edge. Star Wars has a lot to answer for, lord knows what they would have done with Harry Potter.

occasional reader said...

Well done. Spilling couscous sounds like a nightmare. Multitasking skills improve with practice, though. I hope your Beloved gets a nice cooked dinner when she gets back home from work.

But, 'bonding'. Why 'bonding'?

Armagnac Daddy said...

I don't know, why not?

I suppose bonding is something that's less automatic when you are a step removed from the day to day care of children. I subscribe to the notion that while occasional quality time might be a good thing, compared to no time at all, at this age in particular regular time spent caring for the kids (yes including changing nappies and the like) is important to being, to them, a primary carer.

Which seems self evident but what I mean by that is the parent (not always male these days...) works 6 days a week, 11 hours a day, on career, they may not be 'bonding' at the same level as a parent who is with the children a significant portion of the week.

occasional reader said...

No, no. I meant the actual use of the word 'bonding'. I agree with you regarding the rest. It just sounded a bit like 'closure'. The blog post had such immediacy, so 'bonding' jarred for some reason. It's a kind of contradiction of the sentiment you were conveying.

'Naughty corner' is a new concept too. My children are a few years older, so we didn't know about it, and survived the toddler years, somehow. But while I accept 'naughty corner' to be something I've missed out on, 'bonding' sounds, I don't know, like something Don Watson might put in one of his books.

Armagnac Daddy said...

"something Don Watson might put in one of his books."


Point noted though, will have a think about the word and its use there. I know I've used it before. It isn't meant to be an out, or the like, I guess what I was doing was tapping the 'immediate' particular tale back into a bigger narrative, which is the building up of my ties/bonds/deeper understandings with my son.

Noted though, food for thought.

Anonymous said...

Mums going back to work?

What kind of society do we live in where we have to send our women back to work or where women believe paid employment is more important than mothering their children.

Priorities all wrong.

Enjoy your big screen television.