While we were lucky to have two weeks together as a family before he returned to work, it was just me and Miss E most days after that. I learned which of her cries meant what before he did, which books she liked, how best to soothe her. She and I established routines, and when my husband was home on the weekends throwing everything off balance, it was (and still is) incredibly difficult to control my temper when she’s screaming her head off. Once when she was particularly grouchy and he kept chatting her up and playing loud music, her bedtime was delayed even more by the argument that followed me telling him (gently, I swear!) that she was sleepy. My husband claims I don’t know any more than he does about being a parent. And he’s right. We both needed time to learn.
We’re a team, and while I’m not one for sports metaphors, I have to remember sometimes that while we’re working toward the same goal, we’re not playing the same position. Still, when my husband gives Miss E her bath at night I worry every. single. time. that the water in her baby tub is too high (it’s not) or too hot (it never is). This is a learning process for me, too: letting go, letting the man I married become a daddy. They have their own books they like to read together. He sings different songs to quiet her. When I’m at work, people will ask if he’s “watching” her, and I always say no, he’s parenting her.
We don’t always agree, and I’m sure we haven’t had our last squabble over swaddling or tummy time or whether our daughter prefers Kirk or Picard. But the one thing we’ll always agree on is doing our individual best to keep her happy, healthy and safe.