Monday, June 4, 2012

And so it begins...

Today my adventure into the world of full time parenting began. Unsurprisingly it started the same as every other 'work' day. I woke first, made breakfast and lunches for the school kids, reminded them to actually get ready for school instead of lying in front of the heater. Sometimes I wonder why they bother getting up to move from one warm spot to another. I threw some washing on too, just for good measure. My son even did a chore or two, and they were still ready by quarter past eight. All good. All smooth. All simple. No fuss, no stress. Dare I say it, easy.

Of course I was helped just a tad by my beloved who was going to work late because she wanted to take  the new addition to a maternal health check up. That was the reason she gave anyway. I'm not saying she has any trust issues or doubts (but she wouldn't be alone if she did), nah, it was just the health check.

In any case, she looked after the little one whilst I dropped the others off at school. By the time I was back the wife had already bundled the baby up for a surprising early morning sleep meaning I had some time for some menial tasks like paying bills, folding and some dishes. There was other stuff to do, but, heck, I wrote the previous post for this blog for an hour and caught up on some stuff on the laptop. One and a half hours of me time and things looking good. Sure the wife was here 'inducting' me; I took careful note of the coffee and the newspaper reading. Important for me to stay sharp and be aware of the outside world.

The small fry woke and soon after we were off to the health check. After that and a breastfeed I had no need of the wife and I ushered her out the door, she really was cramping my style! Some playtime, then lunch and the cute one was tired again so she went down for an hour or so. 

The myth busting suggested by my friend was going a long nicely. But now I had a sliding doors moment, the first big test. What to do with the baby asleep? Plenty of chores, or dinner could be started, or the footy replay on the internet of the Hawks game which I missed and the Hawks happened to win by a massive margin. 

The footy won. I watched the first half and thoroughly enjoyed it, including Buddy Franklin kicking 6 goals (on his way to 13 for the match) and tearing North Melbourne apart. Another hour or so of me time and this caper, for a first day, was looking damn fine. 

The little one woke, we played and then went, in the rain, to get the other two from school. Usually I would leave work early to take my son to footy training (I've brainwashed him magnificently), whilst the other two would be with the wife at home, today I was going to take all three to training and see how it would go. I didn't have to. The shocking rain during the day caused cancellation of training.

Instead we went home, the kids did their homework and played with the little one whilst I started cooking; roasted veggie soup and a home made flatbread. My beloved does it all the time, and she'd given me some pointers; and it really didn't look that hard. 

I over roasted the veggies due to assisting with homework and looking after the baby (why can't a 7 year-olds' attention be held for more than 3 minutes?). This caused the soup to be a brown mucky colour instead of bright orange and pumpkiny. I followed the stock instructions on the packet and therefore added too much stock and caused the soup to be too salty, and finally, didn't get the bread started early enough and didn't knead it enough either. 

Thankfully the wife came home and salvaged a brown, salty soup to be pleasant but not great by any standards, and improve the dough so much so that the children (and I somewhat sheepishly) raved about bread.

Post school it was really stressful. I could feel the tension growing, and it was all because I made a couple of really bad decisions. One to watch the footy replay, and two to make a dinner I've never made before (and one which my wife can make blindfolded). 

I was a bit ashamed of myself to tell you the truth. Things were going so well early that I got cocky. I should have listened to Han Solo.

What did I learn from today? Baby steps (for me). I shouldn't over extend myself, I should have stuck with something I knew how to cook. Usually I'm good at time management, I've had plenty of practice, but this is a whole new kettle of fish. And finally, the big one, don't try an emulate my wife. I can't. It's that simple. She's too good and too practised at being a full time parent (and damn fine cook to boot). I am not her, and I can't replace her, so I shouldn't try. I need to be myself when I'm doing the role she's done for so long.


  1. People talk about the wisdom of Yoda or Ben Kenobi, but often neglect the "Everyman" wisdom of Han Solo.

  2. Can related to the whole "what to do when they are in bed" conundrum. Thing is, you can't do what you really want to do "like go outside and work on your bike, go for a run etc", so you feel somewhat house bound and do stuff like watch tv, internet etc instead with all that free time. But like you say making good choices at the right times is a big key ingredient i think, and to do that you have to go with your got, not necessarily "what would someone else do"...... Loving the reading....

    1. Glad you're enjoying it.

      I think striking the balance is the key and time and experience will help me with that I think/hope

  3. Clearly the only poor choice was the decision to cook. Have you not heard of the good work performed by Colonel Harland Sanders?

    1. To be fair I'm an OK cook, nothing special, but as sad as it is I had never cooked soup before (never had to due to the wife).

      Sadly the wife would not approve of the negligible nutritional value of the Colonel's work. No doubt it wins for flavour (fat is flavour afterall) though.

  4. Can we play "but Mum doesn't do it that way" bingo?

    I recon you'll hear that a bit :)

  5. You could always get the soup specialist to make an extra big batch and freeze it, then it just comes down to timing the defrost. Something most men are very proficient at :-)