Such Happiness In Thought Happens

November 5, 2008

A touch of motherhood

Filed under: Fatherhood — Duane @ 8:30 pm

This has been a weird week, and it is only half done at the moment. As the post title says, this week I have had a brief touch of what it is like to look after babies during the day. Agnes has been home, but on Sunday evening she came down with the flu – achy body, sore skin and a temp of around 39. So I stayed home Monday to look after her. She spent a fair bit of the day on the daybed sleeping. So it was up to me to look after Caitlin and Emma for the day. Agnes was there to do the feeds, but her arms were sore and all, so I did the nappy changes, etc, etc.

It was difficult. I have looked after the girls for a few hours on my own on the weekend, when Agnes has had to go physio, but a full day of keeping the girls occupied and entertained is a new experience. Thankfully they had two good sleeps in the middle of the day, so I had some time to myself, but I had to look after them and Agnes. After lunch Agnes improved, and took the girls for a walk later in the afternoon.

I can now appreciate what Agnes and all other mothers go through day to day, raising their children. And I don’t think they get enough recognition for what they do. I have never said to Agnes that I expect all the housework to be done and the girls to be cheerful when I come home, and all that macho bullshit of that ‘coz I work, I won’t do chores, etc – I help out when I can and as cheerfully as I can, but to do a full day of it (without doing the feeds) opens one’s eyes to the immensity of the job.

Yesterday I stayed home again as Agnes was still not fully recovered. And as it was swimming day, we already knew and anticipated what would come after. Emma fell asleep in my arms as I finished the class with her early, she was that worn out. But she loved it to start with! Agnes couldn’t go in the water as she still had a cold, but she took a number of photos and even a vid or two of the swimming class. A friend, Sue, has been helping Agnes with the girls for swimming lessons and she had Emma to start with. Emma was splashing without encouragement and having a good ‘ol time. I had Caitlin and she enjoyed herself as well, but she was not as exuberant as Emma. The wonderful thing, is that after five weeks of swimming lessons, they seem to understand us and know what to do when they are about to go underwater. Caitlin a number of times closed her eyes, took a breath and screwed up her face just before she went under the water. We took a long walk in the afternoon which seemed to wear them out enough for us to enjoy our dinner.

And then there was today. Agnes’ cold got worse during the night, with sinus problems and a more pronounced cough. So I stayed home once more, but when into work to get the laptop to do some work from home. It was a good thing I did, as Agnes crashed about lunch time and I had to look after the girls once more. It is not enjoyable looking after the girls when it is pissing down rain outside. We have had the opportunity to take the girls outside for a walk during “the witching hour”, the time between 4:30 and evening feed that the girls can become quite narky and will not settle. Usually the walk after I get home from work settles the girls down and helps ease the afternoon strain, but when you can’t get outside, you have to find new avenues of settling. And nothing today seemed to work.

Also this might have been due to the new routine the girls have got themselves into. They have been waking up between 4 and 5:30 am for their feed. Agnes then feeds every three hours after 7/7:30 am and the girls will have a couple of naps, and if lucky one sleep during the day. Today they had two brief naps – that is it. So the more awake time might be contributing to the late afternoon narkiness. Or it could just be the weather.

Speaking of the weather – what is it up to? Warm on Sunday, cool Monday, bloody warm Tuesday, cold and dreary today. It is nice to have the warmth ease up on us in anticipation of summer, but the hot, cold routine is not appreciated! The buckets of rain today are appreciated, but not when trying to get four month old girls into a different routine!

Today was also the day that Barack Obama became president of the USA. What will it foretell only time will tell. Listening to his speech this afternoon, all I could do was wonder “when is the bullet coming?” I know that is extremely pessimistic of me, but when you think of JFK and the like, they all happened unexpectedly. I wish him all the best as he has a tough job ahead of him, and I really wonder if anyone can pull the states out of their problems. And if asked: What did I do when Obama was elected? I can easily remember that I was working from home, trying to settle two crying babies.

In other news my brother and his wife were up on the weekend. It was the first time we have seen them since they were married in August, and it was also the first time they have seen the girls in person. Emma and Caitlin took to them with ease! Troy and Sarah had them giggling and laughing most of the time they were with them, and it was good to see that the girls recognise family so easily. So nothing special over the weekend, we had kept it open in anticipation of them coming up. We did take Caitlin and Emma into our swimming pool twice over the weekend, not as long as their normal swimming lessons, and they had a blast. At one stage Caitlin was standing on the top step of the pool, and she screeched out in joy when she understood that she could stand with ease in the water.

Enough of that for now – it is time to go to bed. I can’t remember the last time I would have gone to bed listening to the rain on the roof, but that will definitely be happening tonight.

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