Wednesday, 24 June 2009


We're getting there slowly. Tomorrow is one week since Jake's operation and he's starting to settle as he gets used to his new mouth. Generally he's ok during the day and smiling and laughing just as much as ever but he's still struggling at night. The main problem is that he won't go near his bottle; he wants the milk but gets the fear when he sees the teat. It's fair enough I suppose; after 9 months of learning to cope with milk being squirted into his mouth everything now seems different. Ann explained that after speaking with adult patients who have gone through the same operation, drinking can feel like they're drowning as the gap inside the mouth is so much smaller. Had he not had the operation, I think he'd scream just as much if we put him to bed without feeding him. We've started using the syringe just so we can make sure he's hydrated and satisfied enough to drop off. He wakes up again at 10ish when we give him the ibuprofen for the swelling and then sporadically throughout the night thereafter. That said, he went from 10.30 to 05.30 last night which is a huge step in the right direction.

Clare goes back to work next week!

I can't believe it's come round so quickly and it's going to mean a fair amount of change. I can no longer play the 'I have to work so therefore have to sleep' card at will. To start with it'll be two days a week and then from September, three, when he goes to nursery one day a week. We're very lucky to have mothers who are enthusiastic about looking after him while Clare goes back to work as we certainly couldn't afford the childcare but also that it's going to give him more variety in his life. The grandparent / grandchild relationship is pretty special and important and I'm really grateful we live close enough to make it happen.

Clare goes to Spain next weekend!

This is my first major test of fatherhood. I know this will sound crazy but having never looked after a baby for an entire night and day single handedly, I am slightly nervous. Clare is away first thing Saturday and back last thing on Monday so I have my work cut out.

I have decided to do everything as normal, I'm not going to hibernate and watch the clock tick down, but try to have a busy weekend and see people. Even without having to be in sole charge I have neglected my friends and social life of late through tiredness and lethargy so this is a good opportunity to reverse that.

I read in one of Clare's magazines, an article about a guy who said that men will never bond with their children like their wives will. Whilst I refute that, I do think it can take longer and the first year has definitely been tougher than expected. I did get the instant protective bond when Jake was born, helped by all the emotional turmoil which led up to the birth and from having seen him so much on extra the scans we had. Since then, I've felt that we've bonded well, he smiles whenever I come home from work, I can make him laugh, I play with him etc, but nothing works as well as spending lots of time together. Next weekend will be an opportunity for that. For him to see me as something other than comedian Dad but someone who can properly look after him like his mum does.

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