Giant of a Man
Jamie D Stacey
Get up at midnight, time to change the nappy, itís your turn. Then take your son in your arms, comfort him, love him, and stay with him until he falls asleep. Donít sleep ó you have to watch over the small boy. At 3am you can sleep, you need to sleep a little; at 7am sharp itís your turn. Donít complain youíre tired; mummy is definitely more tired given the complications, given everything... Donít complain the sun rises at 5am, and the birds screech their songs even earlier. Itís 7.01am ó youíre still asleep? No one cares if you had trouble sleeping; the baby doesnít understand your whining and whinging and now heís crying. Get up and take care of his bottle, the bins, breakfast for mum, the dishes and dirty laundry, and afterwards youíll have 2 maybe 3 minutes to get some food down you. Afterwards, itís your turn. 7.36am, change the nappy. 8.10am, change the nappy. 8.59am, the baby has vomited so change the sheets, his clothes, yours, put everything in the washing machine ó and donít forget to change his nappy. At 12(ish) make lunch, have lunch, do the dishes and then play with the baby. Donít play death metal, donít let him touch your console, and definitely donít leave him on his playmat alone. Be a good dad, and donít forget to massage him afterwards to help him burp and fart; no one wants him to have colic. At 3.12pm you can give him to his mummy whoís still bruised and bedbound; donít disappear, donít go to the pub, donít go out with your mates because you donít have either the time or the energy, so try to have a nap because ó 4.33pm, the babyís awake, now change his nappy; the poor boy is developing nappy rash, so add Vaseline and change him more often. 6pm, make dinner; mum is sick of your tinned tomato and chicken soup so shake up the recipe. Donít forget the salt and pepper; not too much, but donít skimp either. Then wash up, take the baby, and reply to your own mother whoís been trying to call all day and is worrying. Reply to her everyday questions with authority and tell her goodnight, and yes, weíre fine and definitely donít need her around any time soon. At 10pm you can get some shut eye, but only once youíve watered the garden, finished the washing up, and put everything away in the cupboards and ó a cry, a wiggle, mummy is tired and the baby needs a nappy changeÖ
11:58pm, you donít respond to your wife. 11:59pm, you head upstairs to help because the baby is screaming for Olympic gold, and thereíll be apologies galore with the neighbours in the morning. Midnight, heís there, in his cot shivering. You take him in your arms and realise; youíre both holding on tight. He then fidgets in your lap and you smile, looking down at this small boy, looking up at this giant of a man.