I can’t speak for Mothers who stay at home to bring up their kids, nor nannies, child minders, assistante maternelles or whatever you call them in your part of the world. Being a male of the species I’m pretty certain I do things a lot differently to the above. But then again I just started to become a home-Daddy, just like that, in September 2007. That was for my son who is now 5, but these days I’m looking after my daughter who is nearly 21 months. So here follows a few paragraphs in no particular order about what I think are my bad habits. Feel free to comment as you please:
Obviously not many Dads are so keen on changing a nappy totally brimming with poo (or caca as my daughter calls it). I’ll admit that I don’t like doing it, but it has become so automatic now that I just don’t think about it. Unless I’ve already got a bit of an upset tum – that can make it unpleasant. In general if my daughter does a number two, she gets changed straight away. Pipi can wait a bit longer but then again I usually get caught out, particularly in the mornings.
Like as I write, my daughter has had her bottle of chocolate milk and is currently watching an episode of Tikkabilla. In that time I’ve got her clothes ready and have taken the laundry to the downstairs room where our washing machine lives, and sorted it into 3 piles (blacks & blues, reds & yellows, whites). In preparing her clothes I have also made up about 10 coton pads with a dollop of Oleo-Calcaire linement on each. They will sit there and fester all day and be used for future nappy changes during the day. I’m often grumbled at by Thumpah for doing this. She thinks the linement dries up (I don’t).
So currently my daughter is watching the telly. When I go and get her after Tikkabilla has finished, will I find a tell-tale wet patch on the sofa? Probably – because I really should have changed her as soon as I took her out of her cot. But then again, she’d be grumpy because she wants her bottle, while all I want is to wash and dress her. Her nappy is probably so full of one night of pipis that it should have a loud siren and bells…
…and on that note, Tikkabilla has just finished and I can hear a faint WOWOWOW noise coming from the sitting room.
The above, with talking about Tikkabilla, leads me to another bad habit: The Goggle Box.
My excuse is often… “I’ll put something English on for the kids, because they need to learn different English accents”. Who am I trying to kid? In reality I’m doing that so I can do something else. Maybe to come on here (my daughter is watching a Trumpton DVD as I write), or do the laundry or even to prepare meals. What did we do before television when it came to child raising? My old Grandma would have been able to give me an ear-bending over that, having had 10 kids and all that before disposable nappies!
With the cheap DVD’s bought off Amazon in the UK and our Freebox with an external hard drive, I have been able to inflict Come Outside (in particular as they both love Auntie Mabel), various Cbeebies shows, Wallace & Grommit, Thunderbirds, Mr Men & Bod.
Come Outside has been a regular tool I’ve used just to calm my kids down – and it works every time!
Frankly I seem to be the king of left-overs… tupperware boxes of stuff litter the bottom of our fridge. But I’m always careful to use their contents long before the fungus stage sets in… honest!
Take yesterday… left over chips, baked beans and a non-leftover Chicken Cordon Bleu… The chips were not your chip pan or oven chip variety. These are what we call “Weight Watchers Chips”. The previous day, I’d cut up the potatoes put them in a freezer bag and added a table spoon of vegetable oil. Gave the bag a shake then cooked them in the oven for 30 mins at 200°C. Only, then my mother in law decided that my daughter should go and eat with her brother at their place (he always eats there on Tuesdays). So I had some of the chips and created left overs.
So yesterday, these day old chips were put into the frying pan with no oil and re-cooked. Oh dear…
Fruit & Veg:
Those of you who have young children… and perhaps older children, know that getting your off-spring to eat veggies and fruit is quite a challenge. Mistakenly thought (usually by people who do not have children) to be the parents fault that kids are brought up not to eat healthily. It is often the kids that dictate to the parents what they eat. Then there follows open warfare each meal time which is really very stressful and frustrating.
In my two’s case, veggies are just not working. Yet they’ll eat cucumber until it comes out of their ears and my son would quite happily over-dose on cherry tomatoes. He hates cooked carrots but will eat grated ones raw, but only if they come in a plastic tub from the chiller in a supermaket. So we can’t even grate our own carrots.
Anything green doesn’t work. So more often than not we try and mix a veg with mashed potato which works “sometimes”. I tend to just give them meat, cucumber, cherry tomatoes and some cheese. Sandwiches work as well, but that just encourages them to eat more cheese…
Fruit is a bit of a different story. It is hard to get them to eat “real fruit”. So I tend to rely on giving them compotes. Incorporating a gourde (compote in a sachet with a screw top) into their “quatres-heures” which they eat on the walk home from school. It is worrying though, that for them, fruit is a pot of fruit puree.
Oh and they eat far too much chocolate…