I had of course, returned to work a few days after Z’s birth.
Now it was PL’s turn.
Two weeks before she was due to return, she started taking Z to her parents’ place.
The plan was for PL to bring Z to her parent’s in the morning, before going to work. Then in the afternoon, her parents will bring Z back to our place, and wait for us. And then we would return after work.
But PL was concerned Z might not respond well to her parents’ place – strange place. So two weeks before she was due to return, she brought Z to her parents’ every day for a few hours, and she was there to help with the adjustment.
There was some separation anxiety (on both the part of the Z and PL), and PL wanted to let Z get used to her absence so on the second or third day, she left for a while to go to the neighbourhood mall. Just as she reached the mall, her mother called.
Z was crying inconsolably. PL rushed back of course.
She repeated the exercise and over the week, Z grew accustomed to her absence. And PL could actually have some time to shop.
So two weeks later, when she started work, it went relatively smoothly. Just in case, I took paternity leave – I get a week – for that first week that PL returned to work.
We were also embarking on renovating the TP flat, and the place need to be packed up prior to renovation.
So the plan was for me to go and pack up the flat. That is another story, and the subject of another blog post.
So for the week of paternity leave, I was taking Monday, Wednesday, and Friday to go pack the TP flat.
On Tuesday and Thursday the plan was for Z to stay home with me, but PL’s mom would drop by. I was thinking she could just drop by to visit and to ensure that Z doesn’t forget her, but I think she got the idea that she would be taking care of Z at our place instead of at her place.
So I didn’t get to go solo fathering at all.
No one has ever said Single Parenting was easy, and I’m not going to say it was easy. Maybe I dodged a bullet then, but it didn’t felt that way. It felt like a misfire. But no need to regret what I may yet regret.
The next week I was back to work and the arrangement was now in full operation.
Every morning PL & I would take Z to PL’s parents’ place, hand over Z, and then cab to the office. Then in the afternoon, at their convenience, PL’s parents would bring Z back to our place.
Then at 5:30, PL and I would leave the office by cab, to head back home.
By 6 pm, we would be home and Z would bind to PL like a koala to an eucalyptus tree. (Or panda to bamboo).
Except for Friday when Z had her latest immunisation injection. (She howled like the devil when she was jabbed and when she left the room, the parents in the waiting room had a look of fear on their faces. Good job, Z!)
That was in the morning so I took leave to attend to it, with PL’s mom. After the clinic visit, we returned home, and settled Z in. Then I left to do more packing at the TP flat. PL’s father would come by to help grandma later.
So endeth the 2nd week.
Z has adjusted well to the routine. She wakes with her mom at about 6, has her first feed, then we prep her (and ourselves) and we are out of the apartment at around 7:15 and trying to hail a cab. Most mornings we can flag one down on the streets. Sometimes, we book a cab (more expensive).
Z will be at granny’s at about 7:30 and we would be in office by 8:00.
Cab fare for us morning and evening is about $600 – $700 a month. PL’s mom will probably spend about $200 – $300. Still cheaper than getting a car, and more convenient.
After TP is renovated, and we move back in, the plan is for PL’s mom to come in the morning before we go for work, and then leave after we return. She will probably cab in the morning to save time. Or not, since she is also an early riser, she could take the bus. There is an express bus to TP central, and then she’d take a feeder bus.
We’ll sort that out then.
The only problem so far has been lunch.
Because I’m now waking up at 6:30, by lunch time I am very very sleepy. So I have to be careful what I order for lunch. Once I ordered pork ribs, and when I fell asleep and planted my face into my lunch, the pork ribs stabbed me in the eye.
Another time I fell asleep into a bowl of fishball kway teow soup. It was hot. Second degree burns.
I think I’ll eat at Subway now.