Shortly after Mommy returned to work, I had my first day-long “daddy daycare” session. Up to this point, the longest solo parenting stint had only been a couple of hours, most of which GT slept through. This was going to be a big milestone and notch in my parenting belt. It started out just like any other day, and then Mom left…dun dun duuuun.
A little background info on GT, he HATES to be pee wet. I’m not sure if what physically painful to pee for him, or if he just didn’t like the wet feeling. Poop, different story, because the kid could/would sit in his own feces for extended periods of time. But, as soon as the golden liquid erupted, screaming his head off. He is also notorious for letting us change a poop diaper, waiting for the new diaper to get put on, then peeing in it, and crying until he’s changed…again. So, to say there were just a few diaper changes on Daddy’s first official daycare day is an understatement, we had gone through 12 diapers by lunch and another 10 diapers by the time Mommy came home.
The day was spent in constant motion. Even when he took his naps, you don’t have time to just sit and relax. You have to wash bottles, restock diapers and wipes, prep more bottles, make sure he’s breathing, find time for yourself to eat, use the bathroom, keep the pet away from him, threaten to disown the pet if they wake the boy, fold laundry, and most importantly…check in with Mom and assure her that everything is going okay and that her baby is still alive.
Some tips for success on future Daddy Daycare Days:
- Prep as many bottles as you can. Being able to pull one out of the fridge and just warm it, versus having to mix a bottle and still warm it will save you valuable minutes when your kid is hangry and crying.
- Have an Itzbeen. It sounds stupid, “why do I need a timer to keep track of various tasks?” Because it’s a life saver in keeping track of time between diapers, bottles, and naps. Until you experience it, you won’t understand just how much time blurs when you’re constantly moving.
- Realize that your patients WILL be tested. I had to keep reminding myself that GT’s actions are not voluntary, he’s reacting to instinctual feelings and impulses. There were several times I had to step back and count to 10…or 30 while GT cried with no foreseeable solution. But, since I was so caught up and focused on his crying that I was often forgetting the simplest solutions. It wasn’t until I calmed myself down and checked that Itzbeen that I would realize, oh it’s already been two hours since his last bottle, or he’s been awake for 2 hours so let’s try to take a nap.
- Don’t hesitate to call Grandma. Grandmas can make anything better. They’re only second to Mommy.