A friend recently asked me ‘So what do you do all day?’ and it got me thinking, what did I do all day? I’m guessing the general perception is that you’re home, you’re in your comfort zone, you can eat 3 meals, watch some TV, read a book, take a few naps and then maybe meet up with a few friends. But what you’re forgetting in this entire mix, is chubby cheeks. Yup, the baby. Throw a baby into this great plan and everything goes into chaos, no matter how much you used to consider yourself the ‘master of schedule’ before.
My day starts really early. I’m talking right when the sun is rising and if this wasn’t Dubai, I’m sure you would hear a couple of roosters vocally welcoming the sun. The first sliver of light and my baby jumps up and I mean literally, the legs bounce up, the swaddle makes a loud ‘ishhh‘ sound as it comes apart and her arms start waving wildly as if paying her own homage to daylight. We then exchange a few moments of hi-hellos but then it’s down to business as she gives me the ‘where’s my milk‘ tough face. Food’s no joking matter, so let’s get to it.
We then make our way to the living room where most of our daily needs are spread all over the floor. And I’m talking multiple play gyms, a God-sent bouncer and many noisy toys. We start of with a little bit of play time. That means I hurriedly scarf down breakfast, gulping hot tea like it’s juice and she giggles up at the noisy lady-bug or the rattling cat, lying on her very colorful play mat. Slowly the giggles morph into frowns and then into whimpers. It’s time for the next act. Get on with it woman, she seems to be gurgling, I don’t have all day.
We then make our way to phase two of this daily circuit. Reading! We read all sorts of things, sometimes even resorting to some good old Rumi because Mama needs some mental stimulation too you know? Then comes a short nap, but soon the hands spread in sudden and absolutely surrender and the eyes flicker open. Cute little stretches follow and it’s go time again!
Sometimes we sing together, sometimes I do Backstreet Boys’ impressions, using a brush as a mic, lip syncing, maybe even adding a falsetto (does it work for females too? Don’t know) as she giggles. Then we try and do some tummy time. Oh tummy time is fun, it’s fascinating watching her try and try to lift that little head, getting ready to find her independence and see what the world has to offer her.
We do some massages, some secret talks, some nursery rhymes. I know a few but some I make the words up to as we go. Twinkle twinkle little star, why haven’t you taken a nap so far, up above the world so high, saying I need some rest wouldn’t be a lie. You get my drift. We try and do some ‘so you entertain yourself, while mummy checks some social media’ but those attempts are usually futile.
Slowly the daylight starts to diminish and you look around surprised as to how could you possibly have passed 10 hours! So you start to scamper, getting her ready for the final steps of the day. Bath time, the down time, the dad bonding time, let’s sneak in some dinner for mom time, and then finally sleep time. Whoosh, the day is done! But is isn’t. As you lie there, you’ll feel little hands grabbing your nose, legs kicking your chest, a fistful of your hair being gently yanked as she makes the last few urgent attempts at staying awake. Then slowly the eyes close, and you feel ok, now it’s me time! I’m going to bathe, and talk to my friends, maybe go to the mall…oh who am I kidding?
I pull the blanket over my face and say sayonara, maybe I can do all that tomorrow.