This summer we welcomed our second child into the world, and shifted our lives around to accommodate. We had decided that my wife would take a year off from working and we would keep our four-year-old home as well. Pulling him out of daycare wasn’t the easiest decision in the world; he’d made friends and it was great for his development, but it just didn’t make sense for us financially.
His last day of daycare was a Friday. The following Monday we began our family’s transition from a dual-income family with one child to single-income with two kids.
One that first day, I came home from work and was paying Chutes and Ladders with son when I noticed he was acting irritably. He told me he didn’t feel well. In the next 20 minutes, events escalated from minor headache to fever to full-out exorcist-style puking. We contacted his daycare and found out that there was a stomach bug floating around.
That’s one going away present I wish I could return.
Our next concern was the baby. At two weeks of age, it would be an automatic hospital visit if he were to contact what his big brother had. So we instantly went into “divide and conquer” mode. I had a “slumber party” with my four year old in his room, while mom kept the baby in her room.
He woke up throughout the night. I made sure he had water, ginger ale and electrolyte ice pops.Despite the way he felt, he laughed as we sang songs and told knock-knock jokes. The next time I took his temperature, I was relieved that his fever had broken.
As I was tucking him in (for about the 10th time) that night, he rolled over and said, “Thank you, Daddy, for taking care of me. I love you”
It’s moments like these that make a man’s heart skip a beat and put to rest any questions about whether or not this fatherhood thing is worth it. I’ll take the night shift anytime.
Kyle is a full-time dad and part-time blogger at Fatherly Stuff. He resides in Connecticut with his wife, two kids and a bunny.