Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Home Alone with Marla

On Sunday evenings this Fall (curling season), and starting last weekend, our nearly 8-week-old daughter Marla will spend four to five hours at home alone with me. Amber spends 8 to 9 hours alone with Marla every weekday while I'm at work, but I don't have as much practice being the "solo parent" myself. Can I handle it without "incident"?

Well, I think I did just fine on Sunday. Marla is currently at the stage where she rarely naps for more than 30 minutes at a time during the day, and if you put her down in a chair or swing or something like that, she'll start crying within a matter of minutes. So, you more or less have to hold her to some extent the whole time, and always keep the pacifier handy. That will change eventually, but for the last several weeks, she's been rather high maintenance...but not so high maintenance that I can't watch football in the meantime. Amber doesn't have this problem, but I get bored when it's just me and Marla, so I have to put something on the television, or something. Once Marla actually starts doing stuff, then things will change.

Obviously, when Amber's away, the only feeding option is bottle feeding. I'm perfectly capable, but Amber has a better grasp of reading the "hunger cues" than I do. I always think she's hungry. (Which might actually be accurate.) And I've been doing diaper changes a lot along the way as well, so that's not a big deal, either. (Speaking of which, we've given up on the idea of cloth diapers.)
No part of baby care is big a deal, really. But several hours of baby care with no break can be kind of exhausting. I have a ton of respect for what Amber does on a day-to-day basis at home.

This week, I get "home alone with Marla" time both Saturday and Sunday, during which I expect at least one "challenge". I mean, mayhem is supposed to erupt when the baby is left alone with Dad, right?

In other baby news: Marla now weighs over 10 pounds. And that was as of last week, so she might even be close to 11 by now. (We'll get an official number one week from today during her two-month appointment.) Perhaps not coincidentally, I am also gaining weight. This study concluded that new fathers gain an average of 14 pounds during pregnancy; I was able to avoid that, but maybe now it's catching up to me. (And when I say "gaining weight", I mean maybe five pounds. Not a big deal, but as they say, it's easier to keep it off than to take it off. So now is the time to start paying more attention to it.)

Marla is still stuck on five counties visited, but we plan to take her to at least one new county sometime this weekend. And if we're feeling ambitious, we might even give Marla a new state! Virginia isn't that far away, you know. (Danville is a real possibility for this weekend's Marla road trip. That trip would give Marla four new counties.)

Finally...here's the token baby picture of the week:


We had our first real taste of fall last weekend, with lows in the 50s and highs in the 60s. This was the first time Marla had experienced temperatures like this, and I'm not sure she liked it so much. She'll learn to appreciate cold weather eventually...but in the meantime, given how cold we like to keep the house in the winter, I think we're going to need lots and lots of blankets.

1 comment:

Maria Eswine said...

why'd you give up on the cloth diaper idea? just curious.