52 Weeks of Fatherhood: Week 49

This might be the first time since week eight that Liberty’s bedtime routine has been this painless.

No crying. No fighting it. Just off to sleep without a fuss. But just like back in week eight, I have to curb any hope of this becoming a regular occurrence, and just enjoy this one night for what is it. A fluke.

Or is it?! Maybe all this talk about being a flower girl at my brother in law’s wedding has her conserving every ounce of energy, in preparation for the marathon walk down the aisle. Come to think of it, she has been carb loading too… Her training has been going well and we’re now just shy of the 20 or 30 steps needed to reach the finish line. Will she make it or will I have to give her a helping hand? We’ll have to wait and see.

The moment of truth was nearly upon us. Just one last hurdle before the big day. The trip up to Lossiemouth. We’ve now learnt that the best way to make the 200 mile journey a smooth one, is to get Liberty ready for bed, put her in her car seat and head off just as night falls. As usual this worked a treat, right up until we pulled into the grandparents driveway. Having to transfer Liberty from her car seat to her travel cot is never an easy task. It’s only a short dash from the car to the house but the crisp North Sea air is enough to rouse even Rip Van Winkle. Liberty’s eyes sprung open the second the fresh air hit her, and seeing Grandad’s beaming smile, she was convinced it was play time. Luckily, after just a few welcome cuddles, it didn’t take take much to get her back off to sleep.

On Saturday morning, Liberty woke to find the house alive with the hustle and bustle of pre-wedding prep. There were lots comings and goings, people dropping of last minute gifts, the hair and makeup team, as well as family popping in to wish the groom well. She wasn’t phased by any of this and had a great time meeting everyone and playing with the kids from the extended family. This makes me realise just how adaptable she is. Her laid back attitude certainly makes my life a lot easier, and less stressful. Famous. Last. Words.

Sure, thing we’re going pretty well up to now. We’d made it to the church without Liberty getting a single stain on her pristine white dress (which is a miracle in itself) and she almost managed her entire wobbly walk down the aisle unaided. There was even a fleeting moment where I realised that the next time I’d walk with her down the aisle will be when she gets married. However, I didn’t have much time to dwell on this as she was starting to get restless.

After we left the church Liberty wasn’t herself. She was quite content to sit in her buggy (unheard off!) and was getting really fussy. Throughout the meal it was a constant battle to keep her occupied. Nothing seemed to settle her. I feel bad saying this but I wasn’t having a good time. This wasn’t helped by the fact that I’d also been charged with wrangling our loveable rogue of a nephew, who is like a mini tornado at the best of times. I was ready to throw in the towel. All I wanted to do now was go home.

Thankfully we’d had the foresight to arrange for my wife’s friend to take Liberty home after the meal. Once the responsibility of juggling a fractious baby and a threenager had been lifted, I started to enjoy myself. It was great to catch-up with family, have a some drinks and dance the night away with my wife. A great end to an (almost) perfect week.

The best thing this week

Liberty took her first piece of artwork home from nursery this week and it’s taken pride of place on the fridge.

The worst thing this week

I feel like a horrible dad, thinking (even for a second) that Liberty was getting in the way of me having a good time. I need to get my priorities right.

What I’ve learnt this week

It was just like any other nursery pick-up, Liberty and I were in the cloakroom collecting her bag when I saw an exchange between a dad and his three year old little girl. She was being mildly uncooperative about putting her shoes on, ‘standard kid stuff’ I thought to myself, then all of a sudden the dad dismissively threw her shoes at her feet and muttered ‘I can tell it’s going to be one of those nights’. I felt really bad for her, her dad’s reaction felt overly harsh and totally uncalled for. As if foreshadowing the weekends frustrations, it was a sobering reminder that no matter how I’m feeling, I shouldn’t take it out on Liberty. I never want to that dad.

Weekly stats

9 Nappies changed
Baseline 84/wk

53 Hours sleep
Baseline 56hr/wk

7 Happiness
out of 10

5 Stress
out of 10

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