The first 10 days of parentood: what I’ve learnt

Little Buddha is 10 days old. Here are some reflections:

  • As the opening sentence shows, we’re currently measuring her life in days. Soon we’ll move to weeks and in the spring we’ll probably start using months. It won’t be until her second birthday that we’ll count in years, and even then we’ll qualify it with halves and quarters.

  • Boy Wonder hasn’t noticed that he goes to bed hours before his baby sister. If and when he does there’ll be trouble.
  • It’s only two years since Boy Wonder was a baby but I’d completely forgotten how hard it is to look after a newborn. When she screams for milk, her lower jaw trembing, I don’t know of anything more stressful.
  • As a result, the Duchess and I have had more rows in the last week than probably the last three months.
  • Little Buddha has an uncanny knack of waking up and wanting sustenance five minutes before our food is ready. It doesn’t matter if we put something in the oven for 20 minutes or an hour. Maybe she can see I need to shed a few pounds.
  • Some days I’m Superdad. Some days I’m Crapdad. Nothing new there.
  • One of the most dangerous tasks in life is cutting a baby’s fingernails. That’s why I’ve never done it.
  • Community midwives still seem to be on commission for every litre of breast milk produced by new mothers. It’s the mother’s choice apparently but some of them are ruthlessly myopic and the advice and instructions remain contradictory. Second time round, though, we’re doing what suits us.
  • I’d give up seven hours of broken sleep for five hours of solid sleep.
  • I’ve bought Little Buddha three pink tops in the past few days. It’s my new favourite colour.
  • She looks just like Boy Wonder at that age. Boy Wonder is the double of me. So I hope the Duchess’ genes kick in soon. Meanwhile, I’ve removed supermodel from the list of potential careers.
  • Overnight, Boy Wonder seemed to double in weight. I either calibrated to the relative lightness of Little Buddha or while we were in hospital the other week Boy Wonder worked out where we hide the treats.
  • I’ve rediscovered my baby bounce. For hours each day, whether sitting or standing, I’m shifting my weight from foot to foot and gently vibrating my arms and shoulders. The Duchess says I’m a natural because it’s been my dance style for years.
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