Monday, 21 March 2011

Full time Dad, GSOH, requires sleep, coffee and occasional feeding. Apply within

Just read over my last blog which I posted 3 days before Charlie Brown eventually arrived and I can't believe how long ago that seems! My beautiful Son, Charles Edward Bayliss, was born after a 26 hour labour, on Wednesday February 23rd at 18.40pm weighing a whopping 8lb 6oz. 3 1/2 weeks later, he's an even more whopping 9lb 13 1/2oz and seems to be growing day by day! Considering 3 days ago he was 9lb 6oz, that gives some clue what a hungry little monster he actually is. Poor old Shell is working overtime feeding him and he still wants more. That's what happens when you're born with the Bayliss appetite! I won't bore you with details of the birth, mainly because it was Shell who suffered it all and I'm not going to invade her privacy, but it was the longest, most stressful 36 hours of my life. Add another 1000% on to that and I suspect you've got something close to what Shell was feeling. Still, after a 3 day stay in hospital, they both finally came home to England beating France in the 6 Nations and a massive fry up which although might not have been the healthiest option in the world, was far better than anything the NHS could provide for us
I never kidded myself about how hard it was going to be, but no one quite explains just how much hard work and effort it actually is. If we hadn't got 3 months off together and one of us had to go back to work after 2 weeks, it would have been a nightmare! My hat is doffed to all those single and working parents out there. Sometimes, like now, Charlie is fast asleep and the whole world seems to be made out of chocolate loveliness and you feel like bursting out into song at every available opportunity. Other times, usually between 1am-5am, he's feeding every hour, screaming because he's got colic and trapped wind and you feel like you're on the set of the Exorcist! Plans are made and have to be changed as we now know that even if we've made a plan, Charlie hasn't read it and will do his own thing anyway, you're constantly wondering whether you're doing anything wrong and then just as he seems to be settling into a routine and lulling us into a false sense of security, Charlie decides he's bored with it and will do something different. Bless him! Would I change him for anything? Of course not. Despite the sleepless nights, the screaming, the fact that all my clothes smell of baby sick, he's my Son. My wonderful, gorgeous, precious son. And despite the fact that he's slept through the 6 Nations, most of the Cricket World Cup and the Living Daylights, I don't begrudge him any of it. In fact, if I could spend my entire life, sleeping, eating and playing on a baby gym, I'd be there like a shot!

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Diary of a house husband

Well, this is it. I'm finally a house husband. My last shift at Shakespeare's Birthplace went by in a haze of annoying Chinese tourists and questions about whether the Globe Theatre was ever in Stratford and I'm now at my final destination- Child rearer, nappy changer and sick cleaner upper. (Anyone inserting the joke about how I'll have to do that with the baby as well will be taken away and shot by the comedy police. ITV I believe they're called) Of course I won't be on my own doing this. My wonderful wife and mother of my as yet unborn child will be helping out in her capacity as the one whose far more sensible than I am (Anyone who has seen my wife laughing at Penguins and singing in a broad Brummy accent to The Lion Sleeps Tonight, will realise the implications of bringing up a child where she's the sensible one)
The problem I'm having at the moment is I'm at a bit of a loose end. Charlie Brown still hasn't arrived and isn't due for another 5 days (God, it seems so close when I put it like that!) But until the momentous day arrives, what's a boy to do? I suspect the answer is, enjoy every precious moment of unadulterated guilt free time you have as you won't be getting any time like that for a long time to come!
So far today I've had a long lie in, 10am, which has long since become a thing of the past even on a Sunday as my body prepares me for early starts and sleepless nights, had a long slow breakfast of coffee and bacon and eggs, read the Sunday papers, fed the birds, prepared some flower beds and generally floated round in a state of airy anticipation of the day when I won't get a chance to do any of those things. This is obviously how my wife has felt for the last 3 weeks as she's wound down from work; we've got so much time on our hands we just don't know what to do with it. Doing nothing is very hard for my wife to do as anyone who knows her will testify. I always thought I was quite good at it but maybe it's the fact I've had almost 2 years of solid employment, an unheard off pleasure in the acting world, that I've lost the ability of not being able to relax and do nothing. If not lost it, then certainly it's under used and rusty from lack of use. There's an oxymoron for you! Still, I know we're doing the right thing, and it'll be a nice thing to get to know my wife again whilst it's just the two of us. And every day Charlie Brown stays wrapped up in his or her cocoon of warmth and security, the closer we get to Uncle Richard getting back from honeymoon and meeting, not to mention spoiling, his first niece and nephew and me winning the sweepstake of guessing the correct date of birth. Come on March 2nd! Or was it the 3rd? Either way, knowing the mischievous streak it's already showing, it's probably going to make an appearance during the potential 6 Nations decider of England V France on Saturday despite strict instructions to the contrary! Still, Chris Ashton Bayliss has a certain ring to it.

And so the waiting continues, the papers and complete works of Sherlock Holmes will be read in due course and I can gaze round the clean and tidy house knowing full well that very soon, it's going to be a dumping ground for nappies, strange squeaky toys and soiled baby grows. I can't wait.......