7 months, 3 weeks & 1 day into Daddyhood

Talise had her first “taster session” at the nursery yesterday. Prior to this, due to family being scattered hither and yon, Talise until recently being exclusively breastfed, and so on, as well as general parental protectiveness, we haven’t left her on her own with anyone for more than a few minutes at a time. And even then, we’ve always been in the next room or… well… within shouting distance. One or the other or both of us (her parents), that is. I mean obviously we trust each other to be alone with her! Anyway, so the point is, we’ve only, in effect, loaned Talise to anyone, and then generally only close family, and then it’s only been a very short term “on trial” loan, as it were…

And then there was this nursery “taster session”…

At first I was basically alright… I mean kind of… in a manner of speaking… and things. At first I was just show around the place, while Jo and Talise were left in the Baby Room, to play and chat with the nurses (do you call them “nurses” or just “staff”?) – Jo had already previously been given the guided tour. This was okay, because I was leaving my beautiful baby girl with Mummy, albeit to play with other babies under the kind-of supervision of the nursery staff. It was hardly any different to Jo taking her to playgroup, as she had done previously on numerous occasions. But then one of the staff said, “Why don’t you two go off for a bit and have a coffee?”… which was a bit like… “Um… yeah… okay”… and you could tell both of us were somewhat reluctant to. But we did. And it was… okay. Weird, but okay. Sitting in the canteen, out of earshot of our baby, while someone else – a virtual stranger! – was “responsible” for her. But it was… (weird but) okay. We were both pretty tired, so we sat there at the table, with our respective drinks, looking at each other, exchanging a few words… mentally counting down the minutes until we could see our daughter again (or was that just me?).

And then…

After about twenty minutes, the aforementioned member of staff came down and said, “She’s doing fine.”

“She’s doing fine.”

Well that was it.

I didn’t break down in tears or anything (I’m a man – men don’t do that kind of thing(!))… but Jo and I looked at each other and… well… speaking for myself at least… the emotions just came welling up.

“She’s doing fine”…!

How can she doing fine?! Without Mummy and/or Daddy there to look after her, comfort her, play with her, wipe her nose, make sure she doesn’t stick anything sharp in her ears, etc?! How can she be doing fine without us?!

But of course we knew she would be. She loves being sociable. She loves being in the company of other kids, other adults, having loads to do, and all that kind of stuff. She loves her mummy and daddy, of course she does, but she does get bored of us, inevitably, being as we can’t spend every minute of every day attending to her, playing with her, not ignoring her while we get on with stuff.

I don’t know if it was at that moment, or a bit later, or half an hour later, but I had a kind of reverse-flashback. We are starting the process of separating from her. In a millisecond or two, I seemed to have all these future “memories” come into my head – her first day at school, her first sleepover, her first boyfriend, her first time away from home of more than a day or two (on a school trip, staying with her grandparents or whatever)… and then actually leaving home to go to uni, shack up with a fella, start her own family and so on and suchlike. This process began on yesterday’s nursery “taster session”!

Yes, I know, I think too much.

Please tell me I’m not just a Silly Daddy… 😦

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