One Dad's Two-Month Paternity Leave

December 30: Day 58

Work starts after New Year's, and I'm a little troubled. Will I see Audrey for only an hour a day for the rest of her life? Will I start taking her for granted as if we had never had this time together?

I confess, though, that I'd feel more worried if we hadn't. I learned how to be alone with Audrey without fear. I became sensitive to the frustrations of stay-at-home moms. Best of all, Audrey and I know each other better now; there's a shared vocabulary, most of which consists of words I doubt anyone could spell.

Yesterday, I had the chance to visit a friend, but I chose to spend the day with Audrey. We went to the library and I read her books. She was the only baby there, and she spent most of her time laughing at the older kids. They all got a kick out of her. So did I.

Robert Kolker is a contributing editor at New York magazine.

Originally published in American Baby magazine.


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