Stay at home Dad: Day Four

Jan 09, 2014 •

With Lindsey going back to work1 starting this week, we decided to help the transition by having me take the week off. Starting next week a combination of my mom most days and my father-in-law on wednesdays will take over, but I have enough vacation time that if I don’t use some of it I will stop accruing new time. So here I am, playing stay at home dad for a week.

Day One - Day Two - Day Three - Day Four - Day Five

A Hitchcock Morning

Last night was another rough one for Lindsey. I got Kaitlyn to sleep at about 10:30, and she slept until about 2:30. At that point Lindsey fed her and tried to get her to go back down. By 4:45 Lindsey gave up and broght her into our bedroom and continued to nurse her in bed. Kaitlyn appears to have trained me well, because again at 8:30 when she was once again ready to get up, I was awake and ready to get up as well. We made our way downstairs and while Kaitlyn layed on her playmat talking away at her toys and the world in general, I picked up North by Northwest from where we left off. At about 9:30 Kaitlyn seemed to be ready for her morning nap, and I decided to try something different. Rather than just putting her into her rocker, I turned on the rocker’s noise generator but then stood and rocked her to sleep on my shoulder the same way I would at night. My goal was to put her down with her blanket in her bassinet.

The bassinet has a really cool classic look to it, but we decided very early that it wasn’t practical. When we first laid Kaitlyn in it as a newborn, her weight shifted slightly and she ended up with her face against the bars on the side. Needless to say that wasn’t ok, so our next step was to use bolts to lock it down, it actually had holes in the posts for them. Unfortunately there was still a bit too much play, even with it locked down, so we’ve never used it. For a while now its been sitting in the living room behind one of the couches. Since we’ve been talking about wanting to begin minimizing her reliance on the rocker, I thought today would be a good day to try. I removed the bolts keeping the bassinet from swaying side to side and then laid her in it once she seemed to be asleep on my shoulder. She almost went to sleep; she opened her eyes, then they fluttered closed again, only to pop open for good. I put her back on my shoulder, got her asleep again, and tried one more time. This time she actually stayed asleep! Sadly once I took a picture and recorded some video she started stirring. I backed away and hoped she would settle back to sleep, but she only gave me about 5 minutes of nap in the bassinet. I decided against testing my luck any further and moved her into her rocker, where she was asleep within another 5 minutes and stayed asleep for about an hour long nap.

A special visitor

About 5 minutes after Lindsey left for work, while I was changing Kaitlyn from her sleeper into her outfit for the day, the garage door began opening. It was none other than my sister-in-law Auntie Megan! While I’m sure her primary reason for visiting was an opportunity to see and hang out with me, I know Kaitlyn appreciated the visit as well. As I mentioned previously, Lindsey, Kaitlyn, and I headed out to Ikea last weekend looking for a few specific shelves, only to be thwarted by a lack of inventory. Then a lack of inventory left us without any kind of outing yesterday as well. Finally their iOS app reported that they did indeed have the shelves in stock. So after Megan watched Kaitlyn long enough for me to take a shower2 we packed up and headed out.

The timing could have been better, but overall it went well. Kaitlyn was JUST ready to start her second nap as we packed up, so she was asleep in the car before we even got on the highway. She slept through the entire drive, through most of our time at the store, and through the entire drive home. She opened her eyes and looked around while we were in line checking out, but again once back in the car she was asleep by the time we hit the highway. The best part of the trip - besides FINALLY getting the shelves we needed - was getting to hang out with Megan. We don’t get too many opportunities to just talk, so I sometimes lose track of just how cool a person she has grown into. Its weird to think that she’s the same woman who used to be my friend’s little sister; someone I could tease and tweak until she would paw the ground with her foot like a bull and try to charge me3. I definitely lucked out with my in-laws. I know that there are a lot of jokes about in-laws (mother-in-laws in particular) and I like to give them all a hard time, but I really feel like I got an extra set of parents and an extra sister - in all the best possible ways.

Once we got home I entertained Kaitlyn while Megan ate her lunch, then we swapped and she fed Kaitlyn a bottle. After eating Kaitlyn played with her toys making cute sounds for a little while, but then she started getting fussy again so I tried to put her down for a nap. Unfortunately she was not willing. Megan had to leave, so I did my best to keep Kaitlyn happy until Lindsey got home and was able to nurse her.

Its been an interesting and challenging week, so it seems fitting that tomorrow is “Backwards Day” at Lindsey’s school. This is one of the “Spirit” days they do to promote school spirit, and this means that in addition to wearing their clothes backwards they’re reversing the schedule. So instead of attending your classes first period through sixth, the students will start the day with sixth period and work their way back to first. For most teachers while this will be odd, it doesn’t impact when they’ll be at school. For Lindsey however, since she’s currently only covering a fifth and sixth period class, she now has to come in at the start of the day instead of the end. Its not the end of the world, but it definitely adds a wrinkle, especially as we just started getting a rhythm down. As I write this Lindsey is making the first attempt at putting Kaitlyn down for the night, hopefully it won’t take too many attempts, and hopefully Kaitlyn will sleep for a nice long chunk. Extra sleep tonight would definitely go a long ways for me but especially for Lindsey.

  1. part time fortunately

  2. A not unexpected casualty on several days of this “stay at home dad experience.

  3. It happened years ago but its still one of my all time favorite “Megan” stories. It deserves more than a casual footnote however, so if you see her be sure and ask her about it. She loves the story almost as much as I do ;-)