This weekend has been all about daddy which has been awesome and much needed after a week when I barely saw my wee girl. It also gave us the first opportunity to take Matilda out in her shiny new rucksack carrier and she loved it. To begin with she just had a look of bemusement on her face as if to say ‘well I’ve never had this view before but you can sure see a lot from here AND I’m upright which is fab’. There was no crying, no moaning just some very contented murmurings and then she had a little snooze.
The purchase was also perfect timing, Matilda is strong enough to sit in this sort of carrier and walking the dog at the weekends was getting a little boring as we had to go places where we could take a push chair. Now we can finally get back to our big weekend walks, preferably ones that go via a pub or café as all good dog walks do.
I’d been looking forward to this moment for a long time, this is a proper dad’s job, one that needs strength and endurance, one where being tall is more exciting and one that involves buying new gear. Oh yes, choosing new equipment, especially outdoor equipment has to be a role for me. I know all there is to know about waterproof materials, bladders, zips and how to adjust straps to be comfortable. I’ve (literally) trained for this moment and I can say with 100% certainty that the carrier we bought is the best money can buy.
You see dear reader this isn’t just any rucksack carrier, no this is a Phil and Ted’s Escape ruck sack carrier. Quite honestly I have never been more impressed with an item of baby equipment. It has waist, shoulder and chest straps all of which are fully adjustable so you can match both the size of you waist and the length of your back. It has a compartment to put a bladder in so you can keep hydrated, this is also accessible by your child so they can have a drink on the move. On the back is a detachable day ruck sack which can be used for storage either on or off the carrier. It has a fold out stand so you can put the rucksack on the ground with your child still in it when you sit down saving you moving them in and out. It has a detachable hood which will keep the sun off and when it rains a rain cover to keep them dry. If that wasn’t enough it has another large storage pocket, 3 or 4 smaller ones, a zip pocket in the waist strap for a phone or keys. It even comes with a small mirror in the waist strap so you can see what your child is doing behind you AND there is a small changing mat tucked into the frame.
All in all an amazing piece of kit that will be getting a lot of use of the coming months.
Oh and it matches both our car and the push chair, it’s all about the colour coding….
P.S This isn’t a sponsored post, I just love this carrier and wanted to share. But if Phil and Ted’s need an official reviewer then they know where I am.
Matilda may only be 6 weeks old, but you learn fast with babies don’t you? It’s either that or go insane. So here in no particular order are the top 10 things I’ve learnt so far.
- Babies are born with a 6th sense that tells them when you sit down to eat or drink a cup of tea so that they can cry at precisely the right moment.
- Whenever you plan to go out, think of the time it will take you to get ready and then double it. This is the time it will really take to get out the door.
- A baby knows when you have neither hands free and will take that opportunity to be sick all over your shoulder and not on the carefully placed muslin.
- The consistency of poo and other bowel related topics will become the main source of conversation during any mealtime.
- The ability to sniff a nappy and determine its contents is a talent to be admired.
- Your baby isn’t smiling at you, it’s going to the toilet and is amused at the thought of you cleaning it up shortly.
- The world record for shortest time a nappy is in use is 0.01 seconds, I know it’s my record.
- Looking after a baby is a team sport, but you have to remember to tag in and out, walking away from the field of play is frowned upon and punishable with a week of night shifts.
- Your children will get more presents than you, even on your birthday.
- After 6 weeks you can do anything with one hand, including tweeting, loading the dishwasher, watering the garden and putting the bins out.
So that’s my top 10, what did you learn when you became a parent?
So here we are, parents. A little girl dependent on us to provide for her, trusting us to look after her and know what she needs. Parents who should know what’s best, know what is wrong when she cries and fix it, know how to make her laugh when she’s sad, know how to comfort her and protect her when she’s scared.
First time parents, yet needing to be an expert from day 1. Expert in putting a nappy on, in bathing and cleaning, in knowing which cry means food and which means change my nappy, in doing up a babygrow and in mixing formula.
We’re the adults so we should be control right, making the decisions, deciding when to sleep and when to eat. But we’re not, this little girl dictates the day. She decides when we can have rest, whether we can go out for the day, when she wants a cuddle. She’s the boss and if you do it wrong you know it.
But we’re learning, every day a new lesson, every day discovering something new about her, everyday noticing her growing and changing, As each day passes we gradually restore order and routine and find new ways to live our lives now that we are a family. We may sleep less and drink more, but so far we’re loving every minute and have the photo’s to prove it.
Bit of a late entry this week for the gallery over at Sticky Fingers, originally I wasn’t going to enter due to work commitments making the week a little crazy. But then I remembered a photo that was absolutely perfect for the this weeks prompt; togetherness.
I took this at my father in law’s 60th birthday party, his 2 girls may now be grown up and married but that doesn’t stop them loving their daddy and wanting a cuddle. For as long as I’ve known the present lady of the manor her dad has doted on them both, he will always do anything for them (including many late night taxi trips) and likes nothing more than having them home and cooking a roast for them.
I hope that if I have daughters that I will always be ‘daddy’ too.
When you have children you naturally look forward to the ‘firsts’, the first smile, laugh, walk, word, the list goes on. Well the Bean is still 3 months from making an appearance so I’ve been ticking off the ‘lasts’ instead. It’s quite a strange feeling to be honest, knowing that from April I will be a dad, as they say it’ll never be the same again.
So what have been the major ‘last’ milestones that I’ve been through so far? Well in that time honoured tradition, here’s a top 10 (in no particular order of course!) of recent ones and also a few to come shortly.
- The last Christmas without children; which as my friend Suzanne pointed out kids make Christmas so this really isn’t a bad thing, just a little quieter than the ones in the future! Plus the lady of the manor really is a child at heart wanting to open her presents on Christmas Eve, so it won’t be too different.
- The last time someone asks me how I am before asking about the baby; having a puppy has probably speeded this up in any case.
- The last holiday where we only needed 1 bed!
- The last 3 months of having a spare room and not a nursery
- The last visit to an attraction and not needing a family ticket
- The last night out without needing a babysitter
- Judging by the parents on twitter that I follow the last time I get to sleep past 6am?!
- The last form filled out with a ‘0’ in the number of dependents box
- The last time I clean the car and don’t find dried food, nappies, baby toys, wet wipes (take your pick) under the seats
- 10. The last time I turn on the TV and Cbeebies doesn’t appear.
But you know what? I can’t wait to be a dad and hold my son or daughter for the first time. It’s going to be such fun, particularly given that we’re going to New Zealand in September for 3 weeks (more of that at a later point). For now the planning has started in earnest; how to decorate the nursery, which push chair to buy, disposable nappies or not, which car seat, how long can the lady of the manor take for maternity leave, how to introduce the baby to the dog and so on.
What are the key lasts that you remember? What is the one thing we should buy before everything else? Would love to hear your comments. I’ll leave you with a photo from our summer holiday this year where the good lady and I travelled to Brittany in June, think this picture could look different in years to come. Strangely this holiday was almost exactly 9 months before the bean is due…..