If I don’t appreciate Jess after this week, then I never will. I was really pretty excited to have Emerson as my 100% responsibility for the first time. Dad and daughter dates all week! But I was also a realist about it and knew it wasn’t going to be easy. All the midnight diaper changes and 2 AM feedings. The 5 AM wake up call. All on me. And clearly I wasn’t the only one who was worried about Jess leaving.
Jess has done this twice without me. And for longer times. So if she could do it then so could I, right? It’s just food, bottles, changes and baths. Emerson is really a pretty good baby when you hear the stories of other babies. When she’s fussy, it’s just one of those few things. Run through the checklist and it’ll be fixed.
Around noon on Sunday, Jess took off for her work conference in New Orleans. I was thrilled she was getting away from the responsibilities of home. Rest is not something she has gotten freely lately and this chance was a perfect one. And so it began.
I was very purposeful in my approach. As she napped, pick up, do dishes, do laundry, remember her Rx, thaw out her food for later, eat food myself, etc. At 20 minutes, I could do a lot and those random hour naps, I could do it all. I was confident in my abilities to take care of her.
My one big worry was that I can rarely get her to sleep. That’s something where Jess excels. And putting her clothes on after a bath. Not good at that either.
You see a fairly content Emerson. What you don’t see is that I zipped her up in her onesie with that pufferfish stuck in it around her stomach. Awesome. And her hair is impossible to brush. I don’t know how Jess does it.
That night when she went to sleep, dad didn’t get a night diaper on her before she passed out. She woke up with wet sheets and some extra laundry.
I took the next day off from work as a sick day. Did I mention Emerson got Jess and I sick from a bacterial infection? Yay. It was a rough day. Her first day of meds didn’t help her digestive system. Let’s just say we probably ruined some pajamas that morning, but I tried soaking them in Spray ‘n Wash just in case.
That night, I had learned my lesson. Night diaper went on before bottle time. And at bottle time, we had some issues. FaceTime with mom in her hotel room to let her know we were doing fine. Fine, I tell you. Fine.
After she had her bottle she was much happier. Until she puked on me. You have to burp them after they eat, apparently. Emerson is no exception to the rule. Poor girl. I was starting to feel frustrated that I couldn’t be super dad because Emerson has a super mom.
It’s hard to remember what else happened. I know we soaked through a changing pad when dad was too slow with a diaper change… At one point, dad had to walk into the closet and leave her on the floor crying. Poor kid barely made it through her dad’s supervision.
It’s pretty impressive that single parents can make it work. I would not. Clearly. I need my teammate. We’re always asked about having a second kid, and I’ve always been open to adopting a child that would be raised better in our household than any other. But until that day comes, I think I’ll just focus on being the best father to Emerson I can be. But as long as my Jess is with me, we’ll get through anything. Even getting stuck in a mosquito net.