1201 Set a new world record for the Sofa To Kitchen 30 Yard Dash, grabbing coffee and returning to daughter in 5.7 seconds. Daughter looks at me as if to say “what took you so long?”
1203 Realise that the Manchester United game will be on TV in less than half an hour. Talk to The Little One about buying her a car when she’s old enough if she sleeps through the whole thing. Talk to myself about developing better negotiating skills.
1205 Decide that some milk might aid the sleep process, easily resisting the devil in my head suggesting Ambien.
1207 My daughter is clearly destined to be a mathematician. Every time I lower her from my chest, The Little One is utterly fine until she’s moved through 90 degrees. 89 degrees is fine, 90 degrees unleashes the flaming bowels of hell. Attempt to force nipple of bottle into mouth anyway. Am quietly impressed by The Little One’s ability to emit 57+ decibels while having her mouth clamped as tightly shut as Susan Boyle’s ladybits.
1210 Silently curse myself for not having attempted to give my daughter a bottle before. Wonder if I can quickly rustle up some kind of contraption using bits of rubber tubing to trick The Little One into believing she’s drinking from an actual nipple. Quickly shelve the idea when I realise that the neighbours can see through the window. Seeing a ten week old seemingly suckling from a 36 year old man’s nipple might be a little too much for them.
1215 Try pleading with daughter. Am given a look which makes it clear that she accepts my unconditional surrender, and that I should report to my domestic prisoner-of-war camp for my eighteen year sentence.
1218 Give up trying to feed The Little One. Wonder whether I can put the breast milk into the hastily-grabbed coffee I forgot to put some semi-skimmed in. Waste not, want not.
1220 Ten minutes to the game. Am sure I see The Little One’s left eye start to droop. Decide it’s a combination of wishful thinking and early-onset cabin fever.
1223 No, that really was an eye that I saw closing.
1225 As the United team walk out, The Little One finally succumbs to tiredness. Although to be fair, it may have been the promise of the car finally working its magic.
1229 If ten weeks of fatherhood have taught me anything, it’s that nothing can be assumed to be forever. As a result, I sit and wait in doomed expectation for the young lady to stir at the very moment I turn my attention to the problems in United’s defence.
1240 Aston Villa score, but I am too caught up in the fact that my daughter is still asleep to notice. Begin to look around for hidden cameras, convinced that I am now part of some sick Japanese gameshow, and this is the attempt to lull me into a false sense of security.
1258 She’s been asleep for almost half an hour, and still I can’t quite accept that it’s real. My brow is now furrowed in the manner of a man who has just turned down a threesome with Linda Evangelista and Claudia Schiffer because he assumes that the supermodels are playing a joke on him.
1317 Right, it’s half time, and she still hasn’t as much as moved. Begin to worry, and try to gently poke her to make sure that she’s still alive.
1322 Go off to the kitchen in search of cling film to put near her mouth or nose so that I can make sure that she’s still breathing. I’m sure that’s what they do on Midsomer Murders, right?
1325 Have a moment of clarity as I’m about to put cling film over my sleeping daughter’s mouth and nose. Decide to let her sleep, but surreptitiously have a look on Google for ‘paralysis brought on by leaving your daughter alone for 5.7 seconds’.
1330 Convince myself that United will only equalize if The Little One wakes. Start wafting milk bottle under her nose in order to tempt her out of slumber. Am quietly impressed that she has inherited her father’s stubbornness.
1409 Can’t quite believe that my daughter has happily enabled me to watch the entire football game, and I’ve spent all but three minutes worrying that she’s dead/paralysed/critically ill/all of the above.
1417 Full time whistle goes, and The Little One wakes within seconds. I break it to her that she’s going to have to wait well over 16 years for the car. Her cold stare suggests that only by making me pay for four years of law school will she gain her revenge.
1433 Decide to have another go at at the bottle. Realise that I have no idea how I’m supposed to defrost milk, given that the tiny sachets expressed by The Special One don’t appear to come with microwave instructions. Briefly consider introducing The Little One to icepops, before melting the milk in a bowl of boiling water.
1435 Put a little bit of milk on the back of my hand because I’ve seen people do that on the TV. Realise that I have no idea what I’m supposed to be checking for.
1440 Fear that my daughter may eat my hand if I don’t put it out of her reach, such is the voraciousness of her appetite suddenly. Become terrified of ‘reprisals’ should she reach the end of the bottle and still be hungry. After all, to misquote Michael Caine, “she’s a big girl, and I’m out of shape.”
To be continued (I told you it was the longest day)…