The worst feeling when you are a parent has to be helplessness. A situation where there is little you can do but cope and hope. I have never been through too many thank God and there are much worse than I am about to share. I realize in the grand scheme of things, an hour is not a long time to cope. But I am going to share it with you anyways, as it is a night in every Dad’s life that comes at some point.
Your wife goes out free of kids.
Yes, yes, not a big deal but on this night, it was the first night left with the boys with the new bedtime routine. No more just keeping the baby up in front on the TV. No it was a night to put both boys to bed at the same time.
The nights when my wife is out has also been tricky because of the whole breast milk thing. All week, my better half needs to collect, hoard and salvage milk so I can survive without her in the house. Up until this point, it has been somewhat okay.
So on this night, the milk was ready, there was backup milk in the freezer and I was ready to do it like a dad. The night went off without a hitch.
- Entertain baby
- TV for a bit
- Bath for 3-year old
- Book and bed for 3-year old
- Change, feed and crib for baby.
It was all going at a record pace. I was going to have it all done by 8:15 and be on the couch watching TV by 8:30. Score.
Wife was out having drinks and food with a friend, this was going to be a nice Friday night.
Even the new bottle we had for the baby was working great. He was loving it.
Uh oh, he was loving it.
The baby carved up that bottle in minutes. He was looking so sleepy, doing that thing where he closes his eyes and still eats.
Then I heard the noise that changed the course of the night.
That sucking on a straw from an empty cup noise we tell our kids to not do.
The bottle was empty. Will he notice? Will he just go to sleep?
Minutes went by and I thought I was in the clear.
Then his eyes popped open and he had that look of a fat guy who just got ripped off at an all-you-can-eat buffet.
Yep, he was still hungry. So I rocked and tended to mr. for a bit to see if it would pass. Nope. The screaming started.
I tried to do all the tricks in my book but I don’t have much to curb hunger.
So it was down to the kitchen to get the back up milk. One arm holding baby, one arm trying to defrost milk.
Finally, we were good and back to feeding.
Yep, he sucked that one dry to. How does my wife do this? She must have machines in her chest.
So I was down 1 bottle and 1 bag of extra and there was nothing else in the house. There was only one thing to do.
Text a SOS.
My wife thankfully was almost done and understood the situation. She did her best to get home while texting possible tips. Just for the record, I had tried them all, I have listened over the years.
We were full on meltdown and the screaming was intense.
So much so, that the next thing I know, our 3-year old is up and following me around to see what was up. Well, he was up.
For the next hour, I paced and struggled and fought with a 13 LB. hungry monster. This was the helpless feeling I spoke of off the top. There was nothing I could really do other than try to distract and cross my fingers.
Our 3-year old snuggled on the couch with his blanket hoping the noise would stop soon. He just wanted to sleep.
Weird thought started going through my head. Scenarios that would stop my wife getting home. Closed roads, car ran out of gas, Godzilla taking over. Anyways, it was pretty loopy at this point. Muscles were sore, tense and overworked. Again, how do moms do this all the time?
Finally the car was pulling in the driveway, funny enough just as the baby started to calm down and catch his breath. Now my wife was going to think I was being a little dramatic.
She came in, we took a kid and we did bed time all over again, two hours later than normal.
Everyone was back on track in less than 30 minutes.
In case you were wondering, the baby had a full feed again. He was stuffed.
So, that was a rough night for dad. Being stuck at home without the score the baby needed was hard. But I held it together and did what a dad had to do. I am better off for it and it was a test in a way. Do I want to do it again? NO WAY haha.
We picked up some formula for a back up this weekend. My wife is out again this Saturday, so we will try it out all again. Wish me luck.
This time I won’t be stuck without food anyways.
That is my story.