Practicing Parenting: Daddy Dry Run

Jason Holling

By Jason Holling

This weekend Justin and I had the niece and nephew spend the night. It was a welcomed change to take our minds off the adoption process while we wait to match with a birthmother. Our niece is 2 ½ and our nephew is 5 years old. We had a great time and enjoyed going out to the Omaha Children’s Museum, making dinner at home, and then heading to church on Sunday morning. We joked this was a “daddy dry run” learning how our lives would be changing with a child. They have left to go home now and the house seems too quiet.

We quickly realized when they arrived how much work we had to get our house ready for a baby of our own. We knew we had some time, so we have been doing little things like tying up the mini-blind cords, putting in outlet covers, or putting in baby gates. But we had underestimated their ability to reach on the cupboard and grab onto things or all the fun looking buttons on stereos that were at the perfect height for little hands. We also have some more furniture that needs to go once our little one is walking around to prevent any bonks to the head during those first steps.

Justin and his niece

Justin enjoys dinner and coloring with his niece on our “daddy dry run” weekend.

We also gave all our baby supplies we have been buying a dry run. We had our diaper bag in tow filled with pull-ups, snacks, and wet naps. At the children’s museum we were in full swing pulling out juice boxes and crackers so the kids could take breaks. And back at home, we had a pack-and-play for a quick bed. Justin and I practiced popping it up and trying to figure out the trick to make the sides lock together. One big event for us was the nursery got the kid’s seal of approval. When our niece walked in she said, “Oh pretty!”.  She loved the monkeys on the bed and changing table.

Later that night, we made dinner at home and watched Bob the Builder before getting ready for bed. Bath time was hilarious and something we are going to enjoy with our own child in the future. Getting the tub full of bubbles, they splashed and the whole house was full of laughter. Justin and I got a bath with all the splashing! At the end they put on their pajamas and we had a hair styling station for them to get their hair dried and combed. I can’t wait in the future to end the day with Justin and our child. There is something satisfying about putting away the electronics and having a special moment together to melt away the stress of the day.

We learned some great lessons in our daddy dry run. Like what to do in church when you get a tug on your sleeve and they say “I have to go potty”.  Or in the middle of the night when we had a tap on the shoulder that they were scared of a new place and wanted to come lay with us. We handled them all pretty well. And when someone asked us at church that morning “are you ready for this full time?” our answer was a resounding, “Yes, we can’t wait!”

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