NJ turns six months old in a week, so I'm going to use this artificial, round-number milestone to assess my and The Wife's parenting skills. Half a year in, after all. So, after an exhaustive, painstaking review, the objective pronouncement is:
We're doing anywhere from Great to Adequate.
On one hand, we haven't had to rush to the emergency room or call a shopping mall security office to ask if anyone found a child in a car seat at the food court. Still, though, NJ has yet to win a MacArthur Grant or grace the cover of a major magazine. So it's a wash, I guess. Now, on to the individual categories ...
The Wife is a great, great Mom. I always knew she would be. She loves NJ to death, misses her all day long, and when she walks through the door in the evening the kid's face lights up and her arms start flailing in "hug me, pick me up, Mommy" semaphore. I've never, ever seen anyone so eager to get up at 4.30 a.m. as The Wife is when NJ wakes up hungry. Also, she's taken the lead on solid food feeding and has it down pat.
I'm getting better. The Wife's overnight trip last week was the last big test for Dad Solo, at least until the teeth start coming in an the growth spurts hit (any minute now!). The daily routines are set, solid enough that now I can tinker with them some without blowing the entire day. I'm doing my best to watch The Wife and learn from her, too, although when it's me wielding a spoonful of solid food, NJ isn't as interested.
However, there's one area where I've surpassed The Wife: Naps.
The Wife has lost her touch there. The past couple of weekends NJ has missed at least one nap per day, and that's on The Wife's watch. A couple of times she's come up from the basement, frustrated because NJ has cried nonstop for a half hour, and sent me down to take over. On the other hand, I almost always get NJ to sleep in five or ten minutes, and there rarely has been any crying. Her swing is next to the basement bed, and I'll lay there reading my iPhone until I see that the kid has nodded off before getting up and going to the office or sneaking back upstairs.
I don't really know why this is. The only theory that makes any sense is that when The Wife is overseeing the nap, NJ would rather be awake and in her arms. When it's me there in front of her, NJ thinks "Eh, him again? I might as well get some shuteye." Whatever the reason, I'm the reining Sandman around here and if you want that title you'll have to pry it from my cold, dead hands. Or take it up with the kid.