In the weeks leading up to the birth Hayden had started to become some what a daddy’s boy. Just little things, but in the morning if he knew I was close by he would insist that I was the one that came in and changed him. and often would have a meltdown if Kara tried to do it. He started getting really excited whenever he saw me, and would run and give me cuddles and hugs, and just generally just want to be with me, if I was home. Sometimes I would just get random cuddles or hugs. He would always want to know where I was, and if i was going upstairs or outside, or anywhere, he would want to come with me.
This wasn’t the worse timing, as it allowed Kara some freedom and room to get to spend time with Layla (which is pretty important considering she is the food source! and all Layla does is eat!) without Hayden freaking out. With Layla’s birth I took the chance to take a couple of days off work. To get to spend some time with Kara and Layla and to make sure I could keep Hayden out of trouble and help with the transition for him having Layla home, sharing the attention and also not going to day care for a while.
I felt like we bonded a lot during these few days. Hayden likes to look to you for confirmation, whether it’s confirmation of if he should do something, or confirmation whether what just happened was really cool or not! Sometimes he’ll look with this huge smile on his face, and if you smile back then he gets really excited. We had a lot of these moments during the week which was great. We had chance to go to Carb day at the track (“The Race Car Show” as Hayden calls it) and every time race cars when past he would give me this look with a huge grin.
Twice we went to the spray parks that are close by and he just seemed really excited to be doing stuff with Daddy. He would stay close to me, always want to know what i was doing, and generally want me to carry him everywhere! He is a little shy of the water so I ended up getting more wet than him, but both times I think he still had lots of fun.
We also went to the swimming as the pool opened a few days early and he made some great progress. I had brought both his armbands and a Spiderman inflatable ring. The minute he saw the ring he wanted it. To the point where he was running around the baby pool with it around his ankles. It couldn’t have been comfortable but he didn’t care he thought it was great! I talked him into going into the big pool but he would only do it if he could walk over there without taking the ring off!! We managed it eventually! Typically he wants me to hold him, or hold his hands when he’s swimming but I convinced him that he would be ok if I let go. It took him a while but he got used to it. Then I came up with a little piece of genius.. I had a swigchy ball with me, so I would throw it slight out of his reach and then let go of him and told him to get the ball. He would kick and flap his arms around until he could reach it. Then he would be so proud of himself when he got there. He loved this game, and took it into his own hands (ie. I wasn’t allowed to throw the ball anymore, he would swim, throw, etc). I didn’t have to hold him at all, and he was learning to swim!! He did fantastic!
I think Hayden and I have been real close for a long time, but I felt this week we got even closer as we spent nearly every minute of his waking day together. He could be playing toys and he would ask me to play with him and want to share toys with me, typically he wants to just play on his own.
He was playing up a little the other day and I told him that this was the last time I would get to play with him so he should make the most of it as I’m going back to work. He freaked out and started crying and hugging my leg. I was worried he wasn’t going to adapt well when I went back, but he did fine. In fact when I asked him for a hug on the first day back, he turned to me and said “not today daddy!” And I felt he has quickly turned back into a mummy’s boy!!