52 Weeks of Fatherhood: Week 30

If we were in the uk I wouldn’t hesitate to take Liberty to the doctors, so why am I second guessing myself when we’re on holiday?

She’s had a bit of a cough since we got here and despite keeping her warm, elevating her when she sleeps and dousing her up with Calpol every four hours, that cough has gone into her chest. She’s getting quite wheezy, and I’m getting quite worried. Time for the doctors.

While we sat in the doctor’s waiting room, you’d have been hard pushed to tell that there was anything wrong with Liberty. She was her usual smiley, happy self. This was just another part of the holiday, a little day trip. She was also blissfully unaware that I was quietly freaking out inside. But as a first time parent that’s my prerogative. When we finally got called, like most things Liberty has been faced with, she took it in her stride. She even let the doctor listen to her chest without a fuss. Then, the moment I was really glad we came. The doctor informed us that she had a chest infection. If left unchecked this could have put her in the hospital. We had a lucky escape. Thankfully the treatment was fairly straightforward. A course of antibiotics and two rounds on a nebuliser. This is the part she wasn’t too happy about. Having to sit still while you have cold air wafted in your face isn’t a baby’s strong suit. So much so that she was starting to work herself up into quite a state. As she struggled to get away, having to hold her for the two remains minutes felt like hours, but I knew it was for the best. As soon as the automatic doors of the doctors pinged and we were out into the Spanish sunshine it was all forgotten and she was her smiley happy self again.

This impromptu visit to the doctors was just one of the many new experiences I’ve had to tackle when holidaying with a baby for the first time. I’ve also had to come to terms with the fact that this wasn’t going to be one of those relaxing beach holidays from days of yore. There’s still a hungry baby to feed and the constant flow of nappies to change. Luckily we had the in laws on hand to take some of the pressure off. However, I couldn’t help feel this came at a price.

With work having been so busy recently I felt like I haven’t seen Liberty very much, and now they were cutting into my precious time with her. Selfishly, I wanted all that time to myself. It also felt like whenever I did get time with her it was very transactional, like feeding or changing. Where was the fun? This was all in my own head of course, but I wasn’t enjoying the holiday because of it (and I can only apologise if I was a Debbie Downer for the first half of the holiday). So after going outside and having a stern word with myself, I realised that I was totally missing the point. This wasn’t time away from Liberty, it was time my wife and I could spend together. Time on our own. Which has been pretty thin in the ground recently. Once I realised that I could just enjoy myself and stop focusing on what I might be missing. Plus there was still plenty of time for us to do lots of fun family holiday stuff.

Now this is a proper family holiday. A day trip to the beach, ice cream and a boat trip. Liberty might be a little young for whale watching but it’s always fun to do new things with her. The boat trip alone was pretty entertaining, she seemed to really enjoy the movement of the boat as it rocked back and forth in the waves. If there hadn’t been any whales to see I think she would have been just as happy. Still, I tried to point them out as they surfaced. Liberty smiled when they came up and sprayed water everywhere. That lasted about 30 seconds, then she was more intrigued by the pair curtains next to where we were sat. Well at least she was enjoying herself.

Due to the choppy water, my wife was feeling a little under the weather, so it was up to me to entertain Liberty for the remainder of the trip. We walked all around the boat, flipped through the various nautical books we found and sang the obligatory pirate songs. It was a lot of fun. There was even the usual call to swab the poop deck…

What with our day trips, nights out and all that swimming, time has really flown. I can’t believe there’s just time for one more splash around in the pool before we have to head home.

It felt just like yesterday that I was sitting anxiously with Liberty on my lap, ahead of her first ever flight. Now as the engine spun up and the plane started to taxi for our flight back home, I was already thinking about what fun we’d have on our next holiday.

The best thing this week

My wife does so much with Liberty, they’re always out meeting people, going to classes and generally doing lots of fun things. That’s why I figured she deserved a night off to celebrating mother’s day, just the two of us.

I arranged for the grandparents to watch Liberty for the night, and we headed off to a nearby village. We sat outside a seafood restaurant on the seafront, drank wine and chatted the night away. It was a lovely evening. It was also a chance to treat my wife and thank her for doing such an amazing job at looking after our daughter. Liberty is growing into such a funny, clever confident little girl, and that’s thanks to my wife. She’s the best.

The worst thing this week

One. Bad. Night. Perhaps the break in routine has affected Liberty’s sleeping, or maybe she’s now used to the clatter of cutlery and the clinking of glasses, so the dead silence of our bedroom was almost alien to her. Whatever it was, I think we managed just 2 or 3 hours sleep that night. In the end our old friend white noise came to the rescue.

What I’ve learnt this week

When Liberty is sleeping at home we tiptoe around and talk to each other in hushed voices, just incase we wake her. I don’t know why. When out for dinner one night a Spanish waiter dropped an entire tray of cutlery, onto a tiled floor, three feet away, and she didn’t even flinch.

Weekly stats

38 Nappies changed
Baseline 84/wk

38 Hours sleep
Baseline 56hr/wk

8 Happiness
out of 10

4 Stress
out of 10

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