Daddy Diaries: First Days

This kid is the best!

It's my first week of this three month journey of paternity leave.  It's still unbelievable that I'm basically getting paid to spend time with my son.  He's a baby, I'm an adult.  This should be easy.  Swedie's been doing it for 10 months.  Of course I can do it!  A guy at my job suggested that I set a schedule.  He had recently been on paternity leave.  He had a different look in his eye.  It wasn't a "it was fun to be off of work with my kid" look.  It was more of a "glad that's over because my kid damn near killed me" look.  I gotta say, I was a bit nervous after talking to that desperate man.

But Bash is cool.  Well he's been cool for those times after work or on off days when I hang out with him.  Shouldn't be a problem.  It turns out this gig isn't as easy as I thought it would be.  This first week has been quite the experience.

Swedie and I are so excited for her beginning school.  My main mission is to give her as little to worry about as possible.  I want her to be able to focus on her studies.  That didn't work out so well.  Swedie got up before me (probably due to the excitement of the first day) and got breakfast ready for Bash.  I woke up feeling guilty and walked out to them eating.  First failure.  I immediately walked the dog to show that I'm a responsible adult.  She needed to know that I was serious about this new job of mine.

When Swedie left, Bash crawled to the door and put both hands on it.  He didn't want her to be gone. Even he knew this wasn't a good idea.

        - Mommy don't leave me with this clueless man.

I told him he was stuck with me, so deal with it.  He took it better than I expected.  I was glad.  I have some projects I'm working on and it would be good to focus on that whenever Bash got distracted.  I didn't realize how freaking difficult "me time" would be.  The problem is, the most entertaining thing to Bash is ME.  He wants my attention all the time.  More than Swedie!  If he doesn't get it directly, he finds a way to get it indirectly.  I was trying to relax in the living room when that silence hit.  Parents know that "what is he getting into" silence.  I perked up and went to the apartment entrance area.  Our shoes and coats are there.  I know there is a rug there and that Bash plays over there occasionally.  Jasper was there too and he's nothing but an enabler.

I picked Bash up and brought him back to the living room.  He had a straight face.  He looked up for a second and then stretched his eyes a bit.  He was SWALLOWING.  I looked at the area he was just at.  There were some small pebbles on the ground that had fallen from our shoes.  The pebbles are all over Stockholm walkways to help people get traction.  Now they were helping me have a heart attack!  I know they are very small, but I reached in Bash's mouth because... well they're rocks.  It was too late.  He had swallowed the pebble.  Good job Dad!  Second mistake.  I'm with the guy less than an hour and he's already eaten a foreign object.  AND he's pissed at me for sticking my fat ass finger in his empty mouth when all he was doing was having a good time.  I gave him some water to help him wash down his tasty rock.  He'll be alright.  I proceeded to vacuum every inch of all common areas in the apartment.  Bash loves the vacuum, so he had a blast with that.

Needless to say, I got no work done on this day.  This kid doesn't know what's good for him.  His only  nap was during a long walk.  He woke up damn near as soon as we got home.  I need to get this schedule down if I'm going to get anything done.

No rock swallowing today.  So I guess I'm getting better at this.  I decided that we would do one adventure per day.  Monday's long walk with the insane animal known as Jasper was the daily event.  Today we would be going to see Gudfar Amat.  Yay!  An American friend of mine came by to discuss our future world takeover.  Bash is so good and social.  He entertained himself while we met for a couple of hours.

He loves drawers and cabinets.

Of course there has been snow all week.  I haven't had enough challenges yet.  I got Bash all wintered  up and we left.  A guy helped me carry the stroller down the stairs just in time to miss my train.  That was very nice of him.  I definitely would do the same.  There are some nice people in this world.  Besides it making me feel slightly weak and insufficient, I appreciated the nice gesture.  I actually would do the same.  He was a guy of African descent.  Swedie told me an African guy had helped her before as well.  I couldn't help but wonder if a Swedish guy would help me.  Who knows?

The train ride was cool.  Bash fell asleep.  I couldn't help but smile at the people that admired my beautiful boy.  Yeah, he's cute like his daddy.  Bash remained asleep for the ride and the walk over to Gudfar.  He finally woke up when we got there.  Of course I got there when Gudfar Amat was in a meeting (Mr Important over here!).  Maybe I should have checked before I headed over there.   Good job Dad.  He came out for a few minutes and then we had to head back to Högdalen.  Now Bash was up and wanted no parts of the stroller.  I held him as I stood on the train next to the stroller.  I was trying not to show how tired my arm was with this heavy kid in it while I hold the railing.

Bash was having a blast.  The train was going as slow as ever.  My arm BURNED.  Then Swedie said she was on her way home.  Great.  I never cleaned up the kitchen.  I thought I'd have time to clean up and start dinner.  DINNER!  I didn't take anything out.  What have I been doing all day?  I suck at this.  I met Swedie at Högdalen Centrum and bought us dinner at a kebab spot.  Then I prepared my apologies for the messy kitchen.  This stuff is hard.  I got no work done.

Okay, we'll get it right today.  No mistakes.  Besides waking up later than Swedie.  Come on, Jon!  This time I woke up as she was walking the dog.  Now I'm LOSING responsibility!  Swedie left a little earlier.  Bash is getting used to it now.  He's not so sad that she leaves.  I guess he likes eating rocks.  The snow was coming down hard on this day.  Today's activity would be another long walk with Jasper as well as a father/son bath.  Should be fun.

The bath was fun.  We splashed each other and played with the rubber ducky.  Bash's little baby laugh is infectious.  He likes to play with the shower hose as well.  I let him do that as I turned the water pressure up and down.  I hope I never forget moments like these.  They're so precious.

I pride myself on walking Jasper off of the leash.  He loves the snow and he would get to run around more and have fun.  This would make him tired and keep him calm at home.  This would be exciting!  I would also take another route just to mix things up a bit.  Jasper had a blast!  He ran around in circles and took bites of snow.  I did some test commands to make sure he always listened to me.  He was good.  When people walked or biked past us, I'd have him sit or lay down until they were safely past.  I think he knew that if he didn't listen he'd be right back on the leash.  Jasper was on best behavior.

The good thing about these walks is Bash sleeps so well in the stroller.  It looks so comfy in there I wish they had an adult one.  Bash was cozied up as I walked and played with Jasper.  We began making our way back home after a while because I was sure that now I'd get to do some work while Bash slept.  Then, somehow Jasper noticed a dog on the other side of the field.  He ran full speed towards the dog and its two owners.  The dog was a boxer.  I thought it was a boxer from our building.  I called after Jasper.  But he was in full douchebag mode now.  The owners of the other dog looked worried.  I'd better get over there.  I ran over after Jasper.  The owners of "Nikita" were a very nice, older couple.  I assured them Jasper was nice and they asked if it was okay if they play.  OF COURSE!

The dogs got to know each other for a bit.  Jasper was loving life.  We chit-chatted a bit about our dogs.  Nikita was only three months old.  No wonder they had the same energy.  I explained how Jasper is four years old.  He's like the first baby until I really had a... Oh shit, where is my baby?!!!

I looked across the field at a lonely black stroller.  How the fuck did I forget my child?  What kind of parent am I?  I told the couple I had to get to my kid.  They didn't judge me or scold me.  They just said they'd walk across the field with me.  So nice of them.  I couldn't even concentrate anymore.  I felt like the worst dad ever.  I didn't want them to see Bash.  Then they'd know how small of a child I had abandoned.

I got back to the stroller and Bash began to wake up.  Whew.  At least HE doesn't know.  We chatted a bit more and then some other dogs were being walked past us.  I put Jasper on his leash and then bid farewell to my new friends.  I couldn't help but wonder what that guy walking the dogs would have done if he walked up to the lonely stroller and I had been on the other side of the field.  He probably would have been freaked out and called the police or something.  So glad THAT didn't happen.

We got home and Bash was still tired.  He slept on me for an hour and a half.  I watched the entire
President Obama State of the Union address on my phone.  Best one yet!  Eventually I woke him up.  I think he could sleep for ten hours as long as he's laying on Daddy.  Swedie came home early and ensured I didn't do anything dumbER.

I kinda have a routine down now.  I woke up later than Swedie and didn't even feel guilty about it.  I came home late from basketball practice last night, so I have an excuse.  I'll do the long walks after the nap from now on.  That way I can get some work done.  Bash is knocked out right now after a bottle of formula.  So I'm able to write this blog for you.  This will be my work time going forward. Boom!  I've vacuumed the floor every day this week so far, so I guess that's in the schedule.  No more rocks in Bash's diet.  I've also already taken out food for dinner tonight and my breakfast mess is cleaned up in the kitchen.  I guess I'm learning this whole paternity leave thing.  I'll focus on not making the same mistakes twice.  Until next time...


  1. Lovely photos. Warm greetings from Montreal, Canada. :)

  2. What an awesome kid (and wife)!! You're so blessed, Jon. Congrats on the beginning of what's bound to be an awesome journey.

    1. Thanks, Cecilia! I'll be sure to share the journey as it goes by. Take care.

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