I spend a lot of time scratching my head.
No, I don’t have lice; not that I know of, at least.
I scratch my head, because, for the life of me, I can’t figure it out. What on earth did I do with all that free time I had before Sam arrived?
I mean seriously?
I don’t remember feeling like I had loads of free time. Quite the opposite in fact. My biggest memories of the years before the little one’s arrival are of stress at not being able to fit all the work into one day.
I’ve always been a worrier, so ‘turning off’ is something of an issue. I never turned off before Sam (about work, at least). Yet, even so, I must have had some free time? I don’t remember it, but it must have been there.
Don’t get me wrong, I went to the pub, I went out on my bike and I watched the telly. I remember doing all of that. These are all activities that these days seem to belong to the Halcyon times of long ago (except the telly bit… I still watch it, in a half-asleep zombie-like state). Yet I don’t ever recall feeling like I had loads of time on my hands – great yawning expanses of minutes with nothing to fill them, nothing except any whim that took my fancy.
“Why am I getting all philosophical?” – I hear you cry *.
*Note: I don’t actually hear you. It’s a figure of speech. I haven’t lost the plot – yet.
Anyway, what am I talking about time for?
Well as a dad of a baby, it’s the thing that I seem to lack the most. Time to do anything that isn’t baby-related. It’s just weird. Eating, drinking, walking, talking, washing… even going to the loo are all hurried affairs usually observed by Sam, who’s always on the verge of either crying or getting his mitts onto something he shouldn’t. Trust me, it doesn’t make for a relaxing time.
I know that those of you who’ve been parents for years will scoff at this. “Why is he stating the bloody obvious?”, you’ll cry. It’s just I didn’t realize this would be the case. I genuinely thought I’d have a baby who’d sleep 23 hours of the day, who’d then magically transform into a kid who wants to go out on bike rides and play computer games. I didn’t envisage my current situation, where, in order to get long enough to write this post, I’ve deployed white noise, lullabies, a dummy, along with much cooing and head stroking to get Sam to sleep for around 20 minutes.
I’m not complaining. Well I am, a bit. But I don’t expect sympathy. I know as Sam grows, I’ll eek back time into my life. Who knows, by the time he’s five I might be able to watch a movie without interruption. That’s my five year plan, impressive eh?
I’ll tell you something. When time drifts back into my life again, I’m going to enjoy it.
Got to go, Sam’s awake. Time for a walk, I think.
The Out of Depth Dad.