A diary of sorts. All grandparents have returned home, Baby Momma is at work, Boy is nearly three months old, and this is my first full day alone with him.
I want to capture the details of specific days over the coming months. It’ll help me remember in future, compare the Boy’s progress, and have something to show him when he’s ready to read.
6am: Baby Momma hands over his feeds to me. Boy sleeps like a baby at this point so feeding and changing is done with him in a lethargic state. Once done he dozes right off. Easy.
7:15am: he’s awake again, happy. I turn on his mobile and leave him to observe Mr Bear, Mrs Elephant, Mr Giraffe, and Mrs Rabbit. While he does this I can snooze and stretch, then second, prepare his bottle and get some XCOM2 playthroughs running. Grab Boy, feed him.
8am: Boy sits in his bouncy chair and plays with his toys. Playing right now means knocking with his hands, sometimes intentionally and other times not. I get a load of laundry in the washer, prepare some mix for oatmeal bars (oatmeal, peanut butter, coconut milk), chop a grapefruit, brew a coffee. Once set I sit and watch Thomas the Tank Engine with Boy, while eating breakfast. He’s partially involved although more interested in me, so I narrate what I eat as I go for him.
8:45am: Once finished, Boy is hungry again, so I feed him more milk until he starts dozing off in my arms. A quick transfer to the sofa and I’m free to do my thing. That means finishing off the oatmeal bars, washing the dishes, sterilising his bottles, then tidying up the kitchen a little. He’s still asleep so I celebrate with a well deserved poo.
9:45am: Boy wakes up, feeds. Diaper change goes awry as he does a second poo mid-change. Cue bath time. He’s chill and happy getting naked, then in the bath. Removing him from the bath to dry causes crying. It’s unclear whether he’s wet and cold, misses the bath, or just has hunger or tiredness catching up with him. My guess this time is hunger.
11am: he’s clean, fed, awake. Pop him in his bouncy chair, put on some K-pop, roll out my exercise mat. Today is core exercise, short bursts with two minute breaks. Boy lets his interest flow between the K-pop, his toy, and his daddy. While I take a break he watches me wave / clap / count for him.
11:20am: “The Hanging of the Laundry”. Drag his bouncy chair to the clothes dryer then show him every piece of laundry, labelling each as we go. Daddy’s blue shirt, mummy’s leggings, daddy’s green T-shirt, mummy’s orange dress, and so on. He’s very attentive to this and also loves hangers.
11:30am: now it’s Boy’s turn to exercise. Hold him under his armpits and encourage him to stand. I’m trying to associate the words, “push” and “up” with this action. And “well done”, “yey” as praise for when he does well. Once he’s tired of that, switch to tummy time, leave him to struggle a little on the sofa. He’ll get superficially upset a few times prior to actually getting upset. Currently he’ll go about three minutes before this happens, so I leave him to it, use a rattle to encourage him to lift his head and focus forward. Once he’s nice and tired we do another feed, carry him around the house looking at objects, then lie him on the bed next to the bathroom. I shave then shower while he flip flops between gentle requests for attention, and sleep. Eventually sleep wins over.
12pm: prepare soup, move bottles to their drying area, eat lunch, listen to Waking Up with Sam Harris, an episode about coddling of children and “safe spaces”. Once done, prepare another milk bottle, set off a load of his laundry, then enjoy doing nothing for five minutes.
12:30pm: Boy wakes up again, a little hungry. Feed him, change his diaper, drop him in his stroller, head outside for a short walk around our building. It’s in the shade here so he can stay uncovered and have a good look around.
1pm: After a couple of laps, stop at a cafe, eat a tiny cake and drink a nice coffee. I play with Boy, read him his book, then pass it to him to play with alone. He does this a while until he falls back to sleep. This is where I start writing this, text his momma with updates, and enjoy being outside in the strangely cool and breezy Singapore.
1:45pm: Boy wakes up, quick feed, carry and burp him. He falls asleep again. Grab another coffee and continue to write this.
2:15pm: I move all of my social media apps away from the home screen. Quickly notice I end up texting momma instead. I’m probably a little starved of adult interaction. This might be a challenge for the next couple of months as I don’t really have any baby-owning or unemployed friends to talk to during the day.
2:25pm: little baby Boy wakes up again. I leave him to look around. In case it sounds like I’m ignoring him, my aim is to let him learn independence and patience, a bit at a time.
2:30pm: time to walk him around a while. I’ll go until I sense his hunger might overrule his curiosity for the outdoors.
2:40pm: slight change of plan. Spent the last ten minutes organising air conditioning servicing and playing with the Boy and his rabbit rattle. He’s getting way better at hand eye coordination, such that he can grab it with mixed success. I omitted this earlier too too; he spent a good ten minutes lying on the bed, staring at his fingers and moving them. I’m very sure this is all part of the same learning process. At this stage he’s in a relatively zoned out but happy mood, as is his daddy.
On the way back we stopped by the concierge at our apartment. She was extremely excited, waved at him a lot then talked to him. He waved right back and smiled. Well done, Baby Boy.
3pm: Back home, he stayed in his stroller where he could sit and watch me cook, like Jamie Oliver, or perhaps Nigella. We chopped vegetables, salted some cucumber, and did the washing up as we went.
I let him lick a black olive. His response: a big smile followed by a lot of chatter. I don’t know what he was trying to say but it all seemed positive. We stopped in the middle of this to feed him quickly, then returned to cooking.
4:15pm: put him down to sleep. He’s in and out, fighting it and complaining. Then sleeping again. Then waking. I’m leaving him alone for a while to see what happens…
4:30pm: he lay there waving his legs around, eating his hand, and looking around. Not sure what it means but he seems content.
During this hour he fed on and off. First we spent some time chatting and playing, changing his diaper (included three mid-change poos, tiny ones), then lots more chatting. He was in an excellent mood. We finished the podcast that we’d started earlier and I changed the batteries in his mobile and stroller fan.
After this he had three small feeds, falling asleep between each, then waking up minutes later slightly upset. On the final feed I kept waking him with whistles to make sure he was full, then held him in my arms for a few minutes to make sure he was fully asleep. He settled on the bed under his blanket after that.
5:30pm: sat down to update this. Waiting for Baby Momma to return. Very hungry. I’m worried his lack of sleep today might spell trouble later.
5:50pm: sent feedback to a tech meetup I attended last night.
6pm: air conditioning maintenance guys arrived. They climbed out the window, made a few ladder noises, but the Boy slept soundly.
6:30pm: turned on the oven. Small beep. Heard a little noise in the bedroom, looked in, saw a face in apparent agony. He’d woken up a little grumpy and hungry. He had a reasonable feed but got quite gassy so I stopped and burped him. Baby Momma returned at this point.
6:50pm: make dinner. Eat dinner. Baby Momma rocked the Boy as he wasn’t settling. It was after dinner that he finally settled, probably 7:30pm. We watched a South Park episode with tea and more tiny cakes, then washed up.
8:30pm: he woke up gently, in his own world on the sofa. We watched him roll onto his right side, aided a little by the lean of the sofa cushions. He just lay there, half on his side, sucking on his hand. After ten minutes or so, Baby Momma went and fed him.
9pm: chat to Baby Momma. Text my lovely friend.
3am: Baby Momma looked out for the Boy up until now. I woke nicely from weird dreams to a wide-eyed Boy, eating his hand. Usually he’s three quarters asleep during night feeds. Fed him, but there was much squirming due to gas so I spend a while burping him. Then a quick diaper change (he’s still wide awake). I try feeding more but he’s simultaneously requesting and rejecting the bottle, luckily in a happy mood. So I hold him and let him stare at his favourite ceiling light. He’s still wiggling around a lot and making faces in a way that resembles a silent comedy. A few minutes later he dozes off, most of the way, in my arms. I pop him in bed while I go fill a new bottle of milk and sterilise some others.
He is asleep when I return but sleeping noisily. Mostly little sighs and moans. Expecting him to wake soon as he’s neither full nor settled right now. But, I shall first close my eyes…