Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Mr Mom - where it all began


As I have said before, there was a time when I didn't want to have children or get married.

But we change, don't we?

By the time my first daughter was born I was really getting into the idea of parenthood - knitting and crocheting clothes and blankets and rehearsing changing nappies, which I got pretty good at, I must say!

When our daughter was about 3 weeks old, it became clear that there was something wrong with Mrs RC. She had a fever and, although she desperately tried to carry on as though nothing was wrong, we eventually got to the doctors.

A quick examination revealed mastitis in both sides (i.e. her milk had gone bad and was poisoning her system - would have killed her if left much longer) and she was rushed into hospital there and then, lights and sirens going. She told me later that by the time she got to the hospital the only thing she knew was our Post Code. She couldn't even remember her name or even the fact that she had a baby!

All this left me sitting in the waiting room with our daughter!

That was the start of my 2 weeks as Mr Mom, looking after a 3 week old baby while my wife was sorted out in hospital. I think that was really a make or break time for me as a parent. If I had stopped to think about it all I would probably have turned into a gibbering wreck, but I guess I just did what parents do and got in with it. With hindsight it was a great experience for me, helping to turn me into the parent that I am now.

I have very fond memories of going for walks with the dogs, shopping, visiting friends and family, visiting the doctors to show that I was doing a good job, etc, all the while carrying my daughter, strapped to my chest in her harness. I love those harnesses.

Thinking about it, I wonder what they thought about it at work! All I did was phone up the secretary, tell her that my Mrs RC was ill, I had to look after the baby and I would return when I could. That was the last they heard of me until I walked back in the door a couple of weeks later. I don't even remember the boss asking me for more details either! Funny, he used to get really out of hand about stupid little things, but disappearing for 2 weeks was clearly OK!

So there you have it - a glimpse into my distant past... Hope you enjoyed it.

13 comments:

Alyssa said...

I love reading your blog.

sid said...

LOL! My dad used to look after me too. Not quite sure how long he played mom. I think that this is the reason I'm his favourite.

Chief Rock Chef said...

Alyssa - Thanks!

Sid - It certainly does help you to form a special bond with the child.

miss minneapolis said...

Wow, that sounds terrifying! But it sounds like everything worked out nicely with you in charge. No shock there. :)

Ali said...

As if my crush level on you wasn't high enough already, now you've gone and wrote this and brought it up a couple more points!

And as sad as it is to think of poor Clare all delirious, it's beautiful to think of you stepping into the role of a new daddy/mom so flawlessly.

As usual, you rock :)

Chief Rock Chef said...

Miss Minneapolis - I don't think I realised how scarey it was until after it was over!

Ali - Aww!

terri said...

I can't imagine how scary that must have been! And I have no doubt that being thrust into the role of Mr. Mom so suddenly is what made you the spectacular parent you are today.

Chief Rock Chef said...

Terri - I don't think I realised how scarey it was until afterwards! And yes, I think it was a defining moment for me as a parent - as a person in general, to tell the truth!

The Moody Minstrel said...

That definitely qualifies as a "sink or swim" experience! It's good you came through that okay without having to deal with a lot of repercussions afterward. That parental bond definitely seems to come with a hidden reservoir of strength.

Kiki said...

When my dad would watch my sister and I he would let us play beauty shop with his full head of hair and a bag of barrettes...

This is a precious post...thanks for sharing!!!

Teresa said...

Chuck had a time like this as well...he worked shift work (7pm-7am--3 days on and 4 days off and 4 days on and 3 days off...repeat.)when Logan was a baby and I worked from home full time so he was Mr. Mom every week for a few days at a time and I too beleive that is what has defined him as the amazing father he is today. I simply canNOT stand it when grown men are 'afraid' of their children (or so they ACT anyway) and act as if they know nothing about how to take care of them. They should be ASHAMED of themselves and really they are the ones who missed out.

You go RC!!!!!!!!!

Um Naief said...

i do so enjoy it! and you're right, those harnesses are terrific!!

wow... glad she got to the doctor!!

Sitting In Silence said...

Awwwwwwww I so understand this post.
My DH had to do a similar thing when our DD was born. I took ill when DD was just 3 days with a clot and was rushed back to hospital.
Poor DH was beside himself, but I knew he would either sink or swim and swim he did....
I'm sure from that week on he was better with DD then I was...