Having returned to work after paternity leave a month ago I hoped I managed to keep the ‘new dad’ look to a minimum.
Dark circles under my eyes? Sure! To be fair I work with kids so those bags appear on a far too regular basis, a mixture of stress and tiredness.
Personal hygiene (I hope) has been kept at a decent standard… I guess my colleagues will be able to tell you if this is all in my head!?
So panda eyes aside, and the odd yawn at inappropriate times (best not to do it while being spoken to by the boss) I thought I had it together.
BUT during a presentation this week I found myself swaying… as if Beatrix was in my arms and I was trying to swing her to sleep. I only hope I didn’t make those pretending to pay attention to what I was saying feel sea sick!
Swaying is just one of those things that you do without realising it after a few weeks of parenthood. Holding a one sided conversation with a baby is another. In the first few days of getting Bea home we hadn’t quite got used to sharing our space as a three; my wife would be in a separate room chatting away…
“What did you say?” I’ll ask suspecting she was asking me something…
“WHAT DID YOU SAY?” asking louder…
A moment passes and from that rooms comes
“I’m talking to the baby, not you!”
Believe me when I say this type of conversation has happened in reverse and continued to happen for a week or two until we just started to ignore noises from the other rooms, leading to questions like “Didn’t you hear me ask you to put the kettle on?” – I can now add selective hearing to my parenting repertoire.
We are clearly used to the little lady being around now, recently we have both found ourselves automatically trying to ‘burp’ each other when having a cuddle… rubbing or patting each other’s backs in auto-pilot like we would with Bea. It may shock friends and family at Christmas when we end up rubbing them on the back for slightly longer than is socially acceptable, even more shocking if they end up burping I guess!
Speaking of family, a bit of tech that allows loved ones keep up to date with those images of your little bundle without you having to take over their social media timelines is a clever little website and app called TinyBeans https://tinybeans.com/
Much like a calendar you can add images to each day and then invite family and friends to join you in the journey and make comments to photos added. It is a great way of dating images taken by thrusting an iPhone into the face of a newborn because a funny face is being pulled or the first smile is creeping in, providing a timeline of growth and the changes in your little bundle.
Photos provide us with great snapshots of life, videos likewise images and sounds. What they miss is smells, thankfully in our case! Recently we were sat on the sofa with our little lady during a feed, we could smell ‘something odd’… so we checked the nappy, checked the bib, and checked the bottle – it all smelt normal.
As baby protested (by waving her arms about) to us sniffing around her like truffle pigs we got a waft of a cheesy, musty smell. Think sweaty feet mixed with week old football boots and you are somewhere close.
So we entered our Sherlock mind palace – I lie, we typed into google “Why do my baby’s hands smell?” and came to the conclusion that every time baby put her hands in her mouth post feed she was soaking her babygro scratch gloves in a combo of saliva and formula milk residue (formula milk STINKS!).
Add to that her hands being clenched within the babygro for most of the day we had a lovely combo of sweat and formula milk spit festering and creating a cheesy pong .
The difficulty was that minus scratch gloves Bea seemed determined to dig her eyes out, so we now have system of hand cleaning when we change nappies, and immersing the hands for a long period come bath time. We are also trying to stop hands in mouth immediately after a feed while still using the all in one babygro scratch gloves.
Every day is a parenting school day… Always learning!