Being a stay at home dad for the first time in my life is not an easy thing. Salmah has reported for duty, and she was put to work straight away from day one. No down time at all. No time to do anything. To rest. To get the house settled. To enrol the kids to daycare, kindergarten and school. To get the Internet setup. Nada. But we have managed so far, fitting in whatever we can into our schedules, and me with my broken toes driving to and fro from Kulai to JB (45 mins each way) to get affairs settled.
And of course, me being the say at home dad.
Like I said it is not easy. There are so many things that I took for granted, things that are second nature to my wife, but a huge challenge for me. Things like getting the kids ready in the morning, making sure that they have eaten, bathed, worn their clothes, nappies, etc. And heavens me how hard is it to mobilise three boys when you need to go out for something? And how many hands does a stay at home Daddy need to manage everything in the house at the same time? It’s enough to drive anybody bonkers.
But then again, there are things that I begin to notice.
The way my son Aaron smiles as he crawls at top speed from afar when I am holding a piece of Farley’s rusks in my hand, and how he climbs on top of me and treats my body like his own personal playground when he wakes up in a good mood (and I am still only half awake).
How Adam keeps looking for a laugh, prodding his brothers for an immediate reaction, and smiling his cheeky smile when he asks for Aaron’s rusks, or when he wants to play with his iPod.
How Adel has really grown, and his arms and legs becoming longer and longer. Tall and lanky. That’s what I see he’s going to be, and hopefully to fill out nicely in accordance with the family genes (except the portly overweightness of his own father hopefully). And how diplomatic he has grown to be, never quite blurting out his desires, but saying things like “Daddy, you know how so and so so and so? Hmmm I wish I could so and so so and so”, or things like “wouldn’t it be nice if we could so and so?”. And how responsible he’s become. I have learnt that I can (more or less) depend on him to watch over his brothers when I need to tidy up the bedroom, or need to get urgent things done.
Oh all three of my sons have their annoying qualities as well, and one in particular (read Adam) more than others. But I have found that I am enjoying their company more, instead of having to rush here and there for research, or being locked away in my room writing up my thesis.
That will come in time. Perhaps in a week or two. For now, I am Daddy. The one who takes care of the kids until their mother comes back from work. A hard job. But ultimately, the most rewarding.