bairn blog: a tale of three henleys

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11:08pm Wednesday, 11th October 2006

ee gads, it has been a mighty long time since an update of the blog – you may all have been worrying about the result of cole’s first solo mission as lone parent-ranger but we can happily report that both father and son are alive and well.

the training exercise last wednesday – for peta’s first half-day back at work – was a success, although it was more a case of ‘dad about town’ than house husband as cole took gethin into e-berg for some quality window shopping before meeting up with peta for lunch at the modern art gallery. gethin even managed to create a modern masterpiece of his own – a la pollock – with his pureed apple and blueberry.

thursday was back to normal with cole at work and peta as house-mum with geth, enjoying a visit from gramps with great-grandma and great-grandpa who popped in en route to see family in inverness.

friday night cole was uber-monitor minder, peta out in linlithgow with some co-mums and our neighbours out at a wedding in falkirk – the reward was a lovely lie-in on saturday morning. mmmmmm. godparents ryan and shelley, and great-godparents sam and steph, came round at lunchtime so we all had tea and moved the chickens to their new, bigger abode, before heading into linlithgow for a spot of lunch and a wander about town, the henleys stopping off at the nct nearly-new sale to hunt down some bairn bargains (after queueing up for forty minutes ended up with a sole pair of stripey trousers, acquired for a barganinous half pound). we then popped off to have a browse at cairnpapple in all its prehistoric glory and headed back, utterly wind-swept from our hill-top adventure.

in the evening agnes, an old school friend of cole’s, popped round on a break from her training course in the west of scotland and being the ultimate guest (take note future visitors) cooked up a top sprout curry. it really was yummy! time flew and before long agnes and friend headed off into the night.

on sunday our lovely weekend continued with a visit from denise (she of the funky bairn booties) and we had a fab day strolling about the countryside, admiring its scenery and smells. sadly the smashing, sociable weekend came to an end all too shortly but it was just the beginning of the two-and-a-half-day full-time dad-a-thon. we ain’t in kansas anymore gethin!

on monday morning peta embarked to work and cole frantically noted down gethin’s feed times and his duties for the day. what to eat, when to eat, where to eat, how to eat (lest we forget). full-time bairn supervising seems almost exclusively to revolve around eating: breakfast, brunch, lunch, afternoon tea and supper, with gethin exploring more and more the marvellous world of solid foodstuffs. on monday cole was so preoccupied with gethin’s eating that he completely forgot to feed himself!

we survived monday in-tact and tuesday morning we headed into linlithgow for gethin’s six-monthly check up, which involved much measuring of height, weight and head circumferance ( – “well, mister henley. we can deduce from the fact your son’s head is in the eightieth percentile that he will become a horticulturist”). gethin is, perhaps unsurprisingly, taller than the average bairn at a whopping 74cm! we headed home for some grub before popping off with linzi and adam to an nct meeting with local mums and bairns in linlithgow. it was wierd being the only dad there and couldn’t really join in on the chats about breastfeeding but was fun and discovered caramel chocolate digestives. yummy.

before i knew it was wednesday and the half-week had flown by, although quite shattered from it all. popped into e-berg again with peta and did some more window shopping before meeting up for lunch in the regal setting of the royal museum cafe. then, a moment of high drama as we explored the museum the metal door of the lift we were in decided to shut on gethin’s head as we left! didn’t shut entirely praise be but gave him a nasty knock and he has quite the bump to show for his troubles!

so, after two and two-half-days of crack-fathering i have completed (and survived) my first tour of duty, although with gethin six months old it is maybe a bit late to be bragging about it. i have had a marvellous time. it has been hard and constant work – hats off to peta for her exceptionally efforts these past six months – but also great fun. gethin is quite the wee charmer and we have got on so well together that ‘daaa deee’ is his new favourite word, although it probably means ‘fridge’ in gethin parlance.