Today is the first day of Team Dad. After ten months of maternity leave, my Wife has returned to her part-time job, and due to the cost of childcare, we’ve decided that from now on, for three days a week, I’m going to be looking after Toddler and Baby.
I already knew my Wife was good at juggling the feeding, changing, caring, washing, and bathing. But now I recognise her total genius. Because what no-one tells you about childcare is that past changing a nappy, every job is ridiculously easy. The trouble is there’s just so many of them.
Take getting the kids up in the morning. Fundamentally, they just need to be fed and changed. Sounds simple. But for that, you need to cook their porridge while changing their nappies while running upstairs to find their clean clothes while cleaning the bibs you forgot to clean the night before while getting them a drink and ultimately, completely forgetting to have breakfast yourself.
Those are the issues I might have anticipated. What I didn’t know is that on waking them up, I’d find Baby’s nappy had leaked, soaking her clothes and bed. I also didn’t expect them to so vehemently resist eating their food – Toddler because she wanted me to read Jack and the Beanstalk, Baby because she was more interested in banging her spoon on her feeding tray as though it were a drum.
After I’d swept the floor clean of crumbs of toast, we got to playgroup an hour late. I saw that as a major achievement. Then Toddler wet herself just as we were about to leave, and again once we got home. Three months of potty training wiped out in one morning.
In the afternoon, there was respite. Baby had a nap, Toddler played happily in her new indoor tent, and I sat down with the paper and a cuppa.
Then, a smell. And not one filled with the kind of pleasant notes identified by wine experts. After dragging toddler out of the tent and into her fourth set of clean clothes, my vibrating alert (steady now) went off. Baby was awake upstairs. Defeated, I poured my cold cup of tea away.
In the evening, after I’d swept the floor again – this time because of a constellation of cake crumbs – my Wife arrived home and asked how the day had been. “Hectic,” I told her. She replied only with a knowing smile.
The Limping Chicken is the world's most popular Deaf blog, and is edited by Deaf journalist and filmmaker Charlie Swinbourne. Find out how to write for us by clicking here, how to follow us by clicking here, and read our disclaimer here.
The site exists thanks to our supporters. Check them out below:
- Eyewitness Media: TV and film from a Deaf perspective
- Ai-Media: Remote captioning. Find out about 5 funny ways to use captions!
- Bellman & Symfon: home alerting solutions
- Deaf Umbrella: sign language interpreting and communications support
- Appa: Communication services for Deaf, Deafblind and hard of hearing people
- SignLive: Online video interpreting for Deaf people
- SignVideo: Instant BSL video interpreting online
- 121 Captions: captioning and speech-to-text services
- Signature: Leading awarding body for BSL qualifications
- The National Theatre: Captioned and BSL accessible theatre in London
- Doncaster School for the Deaf: education for Deaf children
- Signworld: Learn BSL online!
- Action Deafness Communications: sign language and Red Dot online video interpreting
- BSLcourses.co.uk: Provider of online BSL courses
- Association of Notetaking Professionals: The professional body representing Electronic and Manual Notetakers
- Sign Solutions: communication support, training and translation
- InterpretersLive: On demand BSL video interpretation
- Hamilton Lodge School in Brighton: education for Deaf children
- Lipspeaker UK: specialist lipspeaking support
- Ozen: Australian hearing aid specialists
- Elmfield School, Bristol: Inclusive education for Deaf pupils
- deafPLUS: BSL advice helpline
- Exeter Deaf Academy: education for Deaf children
- Royal Shakespeare Company: Captioned and BSL interpreted performances (see dates here)
- Royal School for the Deaf, Derby: Residential education for deaf children
- RAD Tax Advice: Tax and Tax Credit info for Deaf people
- Performance Interpreting: BSL interpreting at concerts
- National Deaf Children's Society: The leading charity for deaf children
- Signed Culture: Advocating for BSL access to arts and culture
- SignHealth: healthcare charity for Deaf people
- CJ Interpreting: communication support in BSL
- British Society for Mental Health and Deafness: Promoting positive mental health for deaf people