I’m halfway through a two week vacation from the office, during which I’m watching the baby while my wife goes back to work.
Come the beginning of the year, a nanny (still to be hired) will take care of the little one during the workday, while my wife and I work to earn enough to pay for the nanny. It’s a dubious proposition, but it’s the one that makes the most sense to us.
In any case, I spent all this week with the little one, and it has been a real joy. I realize it’s pretty easy for fathers to never have that much concentrated alone time with their child, and I count myself very lucky.
It’s not all easy. The utter lack of productivity associated with taking care of a kid this age is hard for my achievement-oriented sensibilities to take. And there was one day this week when Chiara was just plain cranky, and that was tough. But as I told Jeanhee the other day, I feel sure that I will look back fondly on this time and thoroughly romanticize it.
There’s been a lot to love. Getting to know Chiara is really cool. The faces she makes when she’s tired… hungry… delighted… The long blinkless stares into my eyes that end only when her eyelids are utterly too heavy for her to keep open and she switches quickly from consciousness to sleeping… Wearing matching alpaca wool earflap hats to go grocery shopping… Watching her watch the world when we run errands, and seeing her delight multiple people each and every time we go out….
I worry I’m screwing up: not feeding her enough, feeding her too much, not keeping her warm enough, overheating her, emotionally scarring her, teaching her to be too dependent…
But really this week has been about falling in love with her again, just as intensely as the first week of her life. That, and being sure to keep her alive and in one piece until her mom gets home from work.