IT’S 1.59am and I’m up with Ezra. Thankfully it’s the first time he’s woken tonight so I’ve had a decent stretch of sleep compared with the past few nights.
Stew, on the other hand, isn’t in bed and hasn’t been all night. He stayed up with Ezra so I could get some all-important sleep, and as he brought the Moses basket upstairs he heard Santi stir. Knowing he’d been out of sorts all day, he went in to check on him and has been in there since. I’ve been able to hear them chatting away until now, Stew humouring Santi as he pours out a random train of thought that jumps from one subject to another, when it seems to have gone quiet at last.
So it’s 2am and Stew probably hasn’t even closed his eyes. But in the morning he’ll be up with Santi, pushing aside the running clothes he optimistically put out in case we had a good night and instead sitting down to watch episodes of Bing for the thousandth time. (It turns out I was the unlucky one stuck with that blasted rabbit at 6.30am this time, but Stew does 90% of the early morning wake ups).
Before my maternity leave started, Stew was the alpha parent taking on the majority of responsibility. He’d get Santi ready for nursery, drop him off, pick him up, feed him and put him to bed as my shifts ranged from starting at 6.30am to finishing at 10pm. Some days I’d be out of the house from 7.45am to 7pm – and even later on Sundays – meaning the bulk of parenting fell on him, but he never complained, I’d just get a text asking what time I was likely to be home so he could get tea ready for us. And this was all while he trained for a marathon in his little spare time.
Now that we have two little ones to look after, the workload has doubled and once again Stew has stepped up. While I was in hospital he made sure he spent time with Santi so he didn’t feel like he was being shifted onto family, and during the first few days at home he did pretty much all the nappy changes, made tea for visitors, cooked for us all and has done his share of night feeds.
These might seem like little things, but they’re the not-so-fun parts of parenting, and the tasks that would usually fall on the mother. So the three of us would like to say a huge thank you to Stew for being such a good father. Not to get all mushy ( I don’t want to be the cause of a load of stick on the boys’ Whatsapp group), here are just a few things we are grateful for (even the infuriating ones)…
- Your ability to make Santi laugh like nobody else can – who else would have thought to shoot felt tip pens through the didgeridoo?
- Being chief executer of bathtime
- Insisting that Santi says “excuse me please” instead of “move”, even though it’s you he’s copying
- Not caring when you dress Santi in Christmas socks (even in June) and not even checking which day of the week vest Ezra is wearing
- Pretending your plethora of electronic devices are really for the boys to watch films on … I’m sure they asked for a hard drive, fire stick, Sky box, DVD player, Playstation and whatever else is clogging up the area around the TV
- Turning a simple toddler question into a preschool physics lesson with your overly detailed answers
- Not getting stressed when we arrive at our destination for a day out and realising we’ve forgotten something crucial – the buggy, the changing bag, coats … why would we need any of these for Folly Farm?
- Letting Santi walk home from nursery because you know he enjoys it, even though it takes four times longer
- Not taking offence when Santi insists gramps has built something you took hours putting together
- Doing all the food shopping (because you’re the only one who can read your lists and I’ll just come home with treats)
Yes, you get infuriated with Santi’s tantrums, hold Ezra’s bottle in place with your chin so you can check your phone and insist on talking politics before I’ve even managed a cup of tea, but we wouldn’t swap you for anyone else.