Wednesday, 2 November 2016

The Dad's Eye View

The Dad's Eye View - Diary of a Stay At Home Dad

8:30 AM: My day begins, not with some alarm going off or being awoken by neighbours going about the school run, but by Marianna shouting various phrases all along the lines of Daddy up!!!!. At this point I usually rub my eyes, check my phone, fight the massive urge to urinate, close my eyes and go back to sleep.

9:00 AM: Marianna has been going strong for about half an hour now, shouting Daddy all the while. I finally give in, get up, go about my ablutions and then enter Marianna’s room to be greeted by the overwhelming smell of the bodily functions that are ensconced within her nappy. I’ll get her up, clean her various orifices, as needed, get her dressed and then suggest we go downstairs. This will be met with some approving form of OK, but not before she has thrown her bottle down the stairs, whilst exclaiming “bottle stairs”.

9:15 AM: we’re downstairs at this point and on goes the TV, and I go out the kitchen to get breakfast ready for madame, either fruit or toast accompanied by a sippy cup full of water. I take Marianna the food to be given a look that suggests someone has defecated on the plate, but she takes a few bites, then tips it up on the sofa. Not a leather sofa. Then she gives me an innocent look to and says no more. This is usually my first impulse to commit murder of the day. However I clean it up, then get on with my breakfast.

10:00 AM: By now I’ve finished my breakfast, Marianna has had hers and she is totally immersed in the vintage children’s television that youtube provides, which is slightly more bearable than Peppa Pig (but only just), I leave her to play with her toys and watch TV while I get on with the house work. I’ll round up the washing, go to put it in the machine turn around and BOOM Marianna has ninjaed herself behind me. Or even worse has put one of her toys behind me and I step on it, Luckily she’s too young for lego (this generally sparks my second urge to kill of the day).

11:00 AM: Once I’ve finished the washing, dishes etc, I’ll go to sit down, and inevitably Marianna will sidle over and ask for “crispies” or “chocolate” which results in the first temper tantrum of the day I suggest that she say please.

11:15 AM: Having snacked Marianna will go off to play and I will finally get to sit down on the sofa, but Marianna’s favourite game at the moment is to take all her toys (of which she has far too many) and make them “sit down” on the sofa next to, or often on top of, me. This usually lasts a good half an hour

12:15 PM: I get up off my giant backside and go to the kitchen to make a light lunch for Marianna, usually a sandwich of some kind and take it in to her and refill her sippy cup in the process.

1:00 PM: NAP TIME!!!!!! (What I’ve been looking forward to all morning)

1:30 PM: I do whatever house work Marianna’s presence has prevented and then veg out with netflix on until its time to wake the beast.

4:00 PM: I give in and go wake her up, greet the sight that’s waiting for me in that nappy and then bring her downstairs for some more intense playing for the next three hours, In which my living room will come to resemble Dresden, and food will be strewn over the sofa and trodden into the rug, and secreted at various undisclosed locations throughout the house.

6:00 PM: Dinner time for Marianna, no matter what I cook it won’t be eaten because it’s “burny hot”, madame will refuse her food on these grounds until I physically put the food in her hand. She then may eat a mouses portion of it, before throwing it on the floor.

7:00 PM: I excuse myself from Marianna to begin the countdown to bedtime, I start running her bath, lay out her pyjamas and prepare her bottle. When her bath is ready I take her upstairs for her bath, where I struggle with her to force a cotton bud in her ear, and prise her teeth apart in order to clean them. At this point I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve wanted to commit murder. I then chuck her in the bath (not literally). Now begins the task of chiselling the days grime and dirt from her person and scrubbing away the detritus of childhood with the help of Monsieur Hungry Caterpillar (a flannel puppet of the Very Hungry Caterpillar, who for some reason has adopted a French accent). After this is done I’ll drain the bath and Marianna will have a scream because she doesn’t want to get out. I forestall this by giving her a quick burst with the shower, it makes her stand and I just snatch her right out from the bath.

7:15 PM: I take her to her room, towel her off and put a nappy on her, all whilst trying out new words and recounting the days events, and discussing the itinerary for the next day. I put her pyjamas on her, then lead her over to her cot, lift her in (snatching a kiss in the process) cover her with her blanket, hand her her bear and the finally pass her her bottle, give her a kiss and then beg her not to wake me up too early the next day. I leave the room to return downstairs and instantly lose the will to live when I see the mess I have to tidy before starting again the next morning.

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