“Can you write down her daily schedule?” asks Daddy as Mummy prepares to go to grown-up work and leave him in charge of the small one. Daddy is understandably nervous as the last time this happened, RB screamed all day and went on hunger strike.
If Daddy paid any attention to Mummy at all, he would be fully aware there is no such thing as a daily schedule. When the little one was newborn, people were so keen to talk about routines that Mummy used to make up a different one each time someone asked. In reality, all that happened was Mummy would go about her day and from time to time, Rebel Baby would start whinging and Mummy would routinely try EVERYTHING SHE COULD THINK OF until something made it stop.
“Sure,” says Mummy and, with a smirk of delight, writes down a beautifully complex routine where feeds and naps are scheduled in a timely fashion, on the hour, and a variety of stimulating activities fill Daddy’s empty day. Daddy is already twitching slightly as Mummy stops just short of adding ‘piano practice’ to the timetable and gleefully pins it to the fridge.
“Ah… ho… hum…” says Daddy, “don’t forget I am working from home and I am very Busy and Important.”
“More important than meeting your daughter’s basic needs?” asks Mummy, fully aware that Attend Baby Weighing Clinic and Sensory Group is not a basic need. “Erm… no…” mutters Daddy, as he tries to work out how he can accommodate his plans to play Football Manager for at least six hours while RB watches nursery rhymes on YouTube.
“And where are the bottles exactly?” asks Daddy as Mummy puts on her grown-up shoes and clothes without sick on them.
“In the usual place,” chirps Mummy. Daddy shudders. The Usual Place is a great unknown territory to Daddy. So many things live in The Usual Place, that he presumes there must be an entire undiscovered room in the house with a secret hidden door to which only Mummy has access. The iron, the hoover, the spare bedding for when his mother comes to stay… it is all in The Usual Place, but Daddy has never discovered it. And, being a man, he cannot ask for directions.
Mummy slips the little one into a motivational T-shirt and merrily skips off to be a grown-up for the day.
At 10:00, Mummy receives a text message… Rebel Baby is not adhering to her 10:00 nap, what should Daddy do? Poor Daddy… it’s going to be a long day.