Fleur has long shown an interest in what we are doing. I call it “nosy” while my wife calls “curious”. Given her newfound mobility, she follows us around and tries to get into what we are doing. That includes the chores. She especially gets upset if she is kept apart from us while doing the chores. Her wanting to participate makes me hopeful getting her involved soon will benefit both us (more slave labor) and her:
Giving children household chores at an early age helps to build a lasting sense of mastery, responsibility and self-reliance, according to research by Marty Rossmann, professor emeritus at the University of Minnesota. In 2002, Dr. Rossmann analyzed data from a longitudinal study that followed 84 children across four periods in their lives— in preschool, around ages 10 and 15, and in their mid-20s. She found that young adults who began chores at ages 3 and 4 were more likely to have good relationships with family and friends, to achieve academic and early career success and to be self-sufficient, as compared with those who didn’t have chores or who started them as teens.
Started reading some dad blogs and ran across something that felt pretty right on Biff the Runner:
At times I feel completely useless. With the baby as I don’t know why they are crying or what I’m supposed to do. At work I’m less productive as I’m tired and find it harder to motivate myself and focus.
This means I over compensate particularly at home trying to make myself useful cleaning, cooking, anything. This makes me more tired.
For me it meant:
- Managing the water bottles. We have 2 Brita filter containers that I try to keep full and a half dozen bottles. I end of tracking them down across the house & car and filling them.
- Changing diapers.
- Soothing Flower, especially when she was upset with gas between 4 and 8 am. Ant’s Go Marching and Dear Liza are my go-to songs.
- Keeping supplies full & shopping. Diapers, wipes, paper towels, toilet paper, snacks, cat food, cat litter. (Still pretty terrible at this. Writing this reminded me that I need to get litter despite going to the store before work to get toilet paper because I did not realize we were out when I went yesterday.)
- Dealing with the teenager: cajoling to do chores, getting things needed, taking to places.
I have a much younger brother, so I wasn’t scared of changing a diaper, especially because she cannot shoot pee at my face. Other things new fathers are supposedly scared of like holding her, giving her a bottle, etc all are skills I’ve had for decades.
Well, maybe the first bath. She had a five wiper blowout where poo was still everywhere. I needed to give her a bath, but the wife had gone somewhere so I was on my own. I had to make all these choices on how to handle it on my own. So many potentially wrong choices, but we both survived it.