Monday, 14 April 2008

The Big Idea

And today’s idea... ...a blog – perhaps called ‘stay-at-home-dad.com’. In fact, I might make that my e-mail address as well. A year in the life of a stay-at-home dad, beginning with the first tentative idea of giving up work, the loss of interest in career, a desire to cut down on conspicuous consumption and – of course – to look after Charlie, my three-month-old son. Ten years ago my daughter went to nursery at just six months old. They had all the parties on her birthday, blowing out the candles on the cake we had provided. They saw her take her first steps, and probably heard her speak her first words too. What I got to do was drop her off at eight o’clock and pick her up at five. If I was lucky, there might be an hour or so when we got home before it was time to have a bath and go to bed. I love my daughter dearly, and the nursery she attended gave her a first-class start in life, it really did. She started school a confident, intelligent and co-operative little girl, used to adult company and at ease with other children. I have no regrets whatever about my daughter’s time at nursery. But I do feel that I missed out somewhat on her early years. We both did. Simply by being at work, we missed things that other parents would enjoy – simple things like going to the park, developmental things like baking cakes or making Christmas cards, all sorts of small and individually insignificant little things that add up to the kind of early life experience that stays with you – and provides a basis for you – right into your adult life and probably forever. All those little things like sitting down and watching kids TV together – things I used to do myself; things that I remember now with great affection. So, I'm going to stay at home with Charlie for a year. And Sarah will go back to work. And this blog will record the ups and downs, the highs and lows, the smiles and words as well as leaky nappies and the temper tantrums.
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