Last week I had a chance to spend a whole day with Ben.  Unfortunately, my wife’s grandfather passed away (more on that in a future post).  The funeral was in Arizona and since several of the family members out there had some kind of virus, we were advised not to bring Ben.  So the only option was for Rebecca to fly out and back without us.  Rebecca left at around 5 am on Tuesday and took the red-eye back that night, getting home at 9 am Wednesday morning!  I had never spent that much time alone with Ben.  As a matter of fact, neither had Rebecca.  She’s alone with him a lot while I am at work but I’m there at night to help out.  Well Ben and I made it through the day but we were sure glad to see mom when she got back!

I spent the entire day in the 3 hour feeding cycle.  This kid eats all the time!  But we had an eventful day as I was determined to not be stuck at the house all day.  We ran a few errands, went for a long walk and generally had fun.  Ben’s really cool these days because he loves to smile and “play around”.  Now if I stick my tongue out at him, he’ll stick his back at me.  That has got to be the greatest thing I have ever seen.  Of course, he does have his moments when he is irritable.  Usually a burp or a diaper change does the trick.  But sometimes he is just cranky which, I admit, can make me cranky too.  Sometimes he’ll just cry or grunt or kick his legs around and slam them down onto the bed, crib, floor, or whatever he is lying on.  That got me thinking about what goes through his head.  I was wondering, what happens when a baby has an itch?  You know how it is when you have an itch, you just have to scratch it.  But he’s only 10 weeks old, he can’t scratch an itch (or do anything else for that matter).  So maybe that is why he is crying? Maybe that is why he kicks his legs around?  I mean, at his age, an itch might feel like something on his leg and he’s trying to shake it off. Anyway, that is just one example of the kind of stuff I think about. 

I have a heightened respect for my wife who stays home with Ben.  I say “heightened” as opposed to “new” because I always knew it was a tough, sometimes stressful or irritating job to be with a baby all day long.  Of course it is fun too.  But she seems to get a lot of stuff done in addition to taking great care of little Benny.  I had a hard time getting out the door and back in time to feed him.  I guess you get better at it when you do it all the time.  I was pretty tired that night, but I still had a few feedings to go and I had never done the 3 am feeding at all.  Plus, I don’t have breasts ready to go when Ben is hungry.  I’ve got to have bottles ready just when he wants them. 

In the end it was a tiring but fun day and I was glad that I got to have the experience of taking care of my boy for that long a period.  I think a lot of dads don’t get that experience because breast feeding mom can’t usually be away that long.  By the way, we were lucky we followed the advice of experts and kept a supply of milk around for emergencies!

OK, here are some recent pics of Benny…

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2 thoughts on “The Ben Chronicles – Alone with Dad!

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