Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Super Solo Dad Diary, Day Two

12.30 a.m.-ish: I finally drop off to sleep. NJ went to bed at 8 p.m. and only stirred once -- when I shut the dishwasher door too hard. Three minutes of half-hearted warbling and she was back sawing logs.

4 a.m.: I wake up and lock eyes on the baby monitor. Why isn't that kid freaking out? It's quiet. Too quiet.

5.45 a.m.: Willie shifts position on the bed -- I never get the entire bed when The Wife is gone because he takes her place -- and wakes me up. I could get back in bed, but surely she'll be awake any minute, so I get dressed.

6 a.m.: The dogs are fed and in the back yard. NJ is smiling sleepily at me from her crib. She slept, or at least was content in her crib, for ten hours. I didn't think I could love her any more, but this cranks the dial to eleven.

8 a.m.: The Wife got some early-morning photos, NJ slammed down eight ounces (today's feeding movie: The Last Picture Show), and we played on the quilt for quite a while. Now, though, she's nodding off in her bouncy chair on the dining room table. An e-mail dings my cell phone awake: "She looks sleepy," The Wife replies to the last photo. We head downstairs to the napping swing.

10.30 a.m.: For the entire time NJ napped, almost two and a half hours, I was on the phone with tech support. Finally, with the computer healthy again, I turn on a basement light. By the time I get to the swing there's another sleepy smile waiting for me.

12 p.m.: It's too cold and drizzly to leave the house for no reason, so we don't. Dad Solo smokes up the kitchen frying bacon for a sandwich. NJ coughs a lot, but I think she accepted my apology.

12.30 p.m.: More play time. NJ is in a particularly flirty mood, which is awesome. Later, just as I'm thinking that my t-shirt is a little gamey, NJ yaks all over it. I get the hint, kid.

2 p.m.: Afternoon nap time. Dad Solo had three and a half cups of coffee in the morning, but nonetheless takes a nap, too.

3.50 p.m.: In the office, I hear cooing from NJ's swing. I smile.

4.45 p.m.: The sun is out now. NJ and I leave for the supermarket. Not only is The Wife going to come home to a happy baby and husband, but she's going to get a big bowl of delicious -- delicious! -- pork chili when she sits down. NJ is an adorable, smiling hit with both customers and the cashier.

6.30 p.m.: I tell NJ that her mother is going to walk through that door any minute now. She seems to perk up -- a very serious look crosses her face. Might be the aroma of sauteing garlic and jalapenos, might be her weighing the gravity of the situation. Who's to say? I put her in the Baby Bjorn.

6.38 p.m.: The Wife walks through the door. I can't see NJ's face, but her flailing arms and legs tell me she's happy to see her mom. The Wife beams, pulls her out of the harness and hugs her tight.

7.15 p.m.: Dinner is served. The Wife expertly eats a bowl of piping hot chili over NJ, who's delighted to be supping on real milk instead of formula.

All in all, Super Solo was a smashing success. Not a single bad moment and lots of good ones. My game plan of nervous anxiety seems to have worked again. I never celebrate a Texas Longhorns victory until the final gun sounds, and likewise I never declare a Super Solo victory until time has expired. Now, knowing this went well, I can look to future Super Solos without fear. Hopefully NJ has an inkling that if one of her parents disappears for an extended period of time, she's still in good hands with the other one. After all, they're both nuts about her.

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