Winding up to wind down – first day’s settling in at nursery means #dadtime is nearly over :(((

It doesn’t sound like a big deal, an hour for No.2 in the baby room at nursery with me never leaving the room (well, only once very briefly to hang a coat up!). But it is a big day, for all the family in different ways. For No.2 it marks the real transition from being a baby to becoming a more independent person (long though that journey is). For me it means that #dadtime really is drawing to a close; the time I get to spend off with my children has just a few days left. And for Mummy and Junior it marks the imminent start of a routine that will last us at least until Junior goes to proper school.


The settling in went as well as we could have hoped. No.2 wasn’t overwhelmed by the room or people – as you can see it is light and toy-filled. She has been going through a VERY clingy patch, with times when she has been limpeted to Mummy or me constantly, but this started to ease a week or so ago. After 5 minutes of staying within touching distance of me, she started to explore for herself, “playing” with her key worker and I (she’s too young to actually play interactively, but she likes giving you things and taking them back at the moment) as well as playing on her own with musical instruments and the kitchen toys. And when I did pop out of the room she didn’t melt down instantly, although she was pretty keen to come make sure I was coming back, padding towards the door as I reappeared seconds after going out of it.

This hopefully is a good sign, and on Friday we’ll up it by leaving her on her own for an hour. Which I think will be harder, and don’t expect the sound of crying to be easy to leave, but she does have to get used to it.

The difference with Junior is marked here, both for personality and timing reasons. Because last time we hadn’t planned time off together, Mummy was able to take her annual leave accrued while on maternity after I finished Additonal Parental Leave. And Junior had been born on the first day of maternity leave, so he was already 1 when I finished anyway. So he was actually about 13 1/2 months old when he started at nursery. No.2 is 2 months younger. And that is a lot. Also, he is a very (very) active individual who likes exploring and playing with any toys going, so nursery was just a room ful of new stuff. No.2 is more people-focused, which means she simply notices our presence or absence more, and needs to feel comfortable with those she is with. Which is where settling in matters much more for her.

Of course instead of tiring her out, the experience seems to have energised her and after eventually going to sleep she’s had half an hour and is now crawling around my legs spreading Easter egg chocolate round the room….lovely!

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Two weeks to go to #dadtime: Parental Leave take two, with Number 2!

It has been a while, and I will try to fill in some of the blanks when I can, but the biggest reason for the brief interlude is that No. 2 child, a beautiful, bonnie little girl, was born in May last year. Meet No.2!


Which as well as being a fantastic and joyous event means….I’m about to go back on parental leave! 

But boy, is it going to be different. Firstly to complete the lifestyle change we’ve moved houses, and in fact now live outside London and even the M25, in a leafy corner of Surrey. Served by Bloody Southern Trains, but there’s a rant for another day…

Also different (well, sort of) is the type of parental leave – I am now taking Shared Parental Leave (SPL), not the Additional Parental Leave of last time. Apart from making a mess of all my site names, what difference does this make, I hear you ask…? Err, basically none at all to us, but I will also spend some time talking about that, as one of my goals last time was to educate people on the difference. A task I largely failed in, so I will endeavour to make amends.

As I will also hopefully be able to show, children are very different, and I do hope that I will have more time to spend blogging, as No.2 appears (thus far) to be slightly less demanding than Junior. However this is balanced against the fact that for 2 days each week I will have both children at home. An experience it’s fair to say even Mum has found taxing at times.

We have planned our time better this time around, and Mum and I will be taking 5 1/2 weeks off together at the beginning of my SPL. I’m not quite sure how to cover that in my blogging, but I hope you’ll join me again over the next few weeks and months to find out. Bring on the Dad Time!!