Now you see me, now you don’t

Something strangely unnerving but nonetheless intriguing struck me recently; it’s quite possible that this blog I’ve quite happily been chuntering on about being a dad on is really quite blinkered. Not blinkered in terms of bias, you understand; Dylan is, naturally, the epitome of awesomeness. No, blinkered in terms of the fact that there’s probably quite a lot that I don’t actually know about him. The fact that there may be what is essentially a hidden side to someone I think the world of is strange to say the least. This isn’t a woe is me, crisis of confidence post, however. Allow me to explain…

I’ve spent a fair bit of time at home lately, partly due to sometimes working from there, partly due to later starts when I get to go to cool social media things with my new job and partly due to the bout of zombie eye I had to get 2012 off to a belter. The upshot of this is that I’ve had much more time with Kate and Dylan which, of course, is fantastic. Exciting too, as Dylan has been doing all kinds of new things. Again, this is brilliant, but it’s made me realise that there have probably been numerous subtle little nuances that I’ve missed over the last 18 months. For example, every day I discover that he understands more words. Even though he’s not actually speaking yet, his vocabulary is quite large  how long has he known some of them? The answer may be ages!

I have to commute to and from work; I leave the house at 7.30am and don’t get back until getting on for 6.30pm so, all said, I probably see him for a little over an hour every day. Even less if he decides to have a lie in. That leaves him a pretty big window of opportunity to do new things! Kate, of course, keeps me informed of the main things he gets up to but, with no disrespect to her, seeing something for yourself and hearing about it are two different beasts. I imagine this is the same situation facing most parents who have to spend the majority of the week at work. The frustrating thing being a working parent is that there is no solution to the lost time – other than a lottery win, which isn’t very likely. As my esteemed boss would so eloquently put it, we’ve all got more chance of pissing in the Queen’s handbag.

So with no sudden windfall or, indeed, unsavoury abuse of our monarch’s accessories in the offing, the only thing to do is embrace the time we do get with our families, accept the fact that we may miss the odd thing and generally live for the weekend! What do other parents think? How much do you think we see – or don’t see – of our little ones’ personalities?

Comments

  1. Helloitsgemma

    Think it’s one of the hardest thing about being a parent is balancing work and parenting. We both dropped a day both doing 4 days in order to spent quality time with son. I had Fridays – he had Monday’s. We are poorer but happier. As they get older they become their own people. Often meet people who know my son through nursery or his childminder. He has his own life. Guess that’s also being a parent.

  2. Sarah

    But what are you missing exactly? The moment when he first comes out with a particular word? He’ll come out with hundreds if not thousands over the next few years, you can’t be there for all of them.

    Does it matter if you’re not there the moment it happens? The important thing is to realise it’s happening, that he is growing up and you’re noticing the changes.

    My boys both went to the creche and I loved finding out that they could do things when they came home at night that they couldn’t do that morning. The fact that I hadn’t seen the official first time didn’t bother me at all.

  3. Tom Briggs

    Thanks for your comments!

    As I said at the start of the post, this isn’t a woe is me kind of thing; I’ve long since accepted that there will be many things that I don’t see ‘live’ as it were.

    I was just interested by the concept of how much we actually know about our children and what other people think of that notion. 🙂

  4. Reluctant Housedad

    As a dad who has been ‘privileged’ enough to experience many firsts in my children’s lives these past 18 months since I became their stay-at-home parent, I know where you’re coming from. I’ve seen my son’s first bike ride, first swim, the other’s first written letters, my stepdaughter’s first netball triumph etc. And it is a killer for my wife. But what choice is there? I’ve tried to include their mother by filming/photographing those moments – and then blogging about it – so that she can at least get a vicarious thrill for those notable firsts.

  5. Reluctant Housedad

    As a dad who has been ‘privileged’ enough to experience many firsts in my children’s lives these past 18 months since I became their stay-at-home parent, I know where you’re coming from. I’ve seen my son’s first bike ride, first swim, the other’s first written letters, my stepdaughter’s first netball triumph etc. And it is a killer for my wife. But what choice is there? I’ve tried to include their mother by filming/photographing those moments – and then blogging about it – so that she can at least get a vicarious thrill for those notable firsts.

  6. mutteringsofafool

    I’ve really enjoyed my weekends recently when wifey has been at work and it’s just me and my girl. I think you just have to accept its a fact of life that one of you has to work. I just try and make sure when I am at home that I’m spending quality time with her and not being distracted by twitter etc.
    Anyway I wouldn’t believe your wife that he’s done things before, where’s her evidence eh?!

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