After almost four years, today was my last day as a stay-at-home dad. And we marked it with a day trip involving two of G's favourite activities: going swimming and eating ice cream.
We drove down to Nantwich to try the outdoor pool there for the first time. It was great, although the water felt a bit cold when the sun went in. I say water but it's actually brine, a bit of a surprise considering Nantwich's non-proximity to the coast. Not that it was a problem, in fact I think the salt content helped G's buoyancy a bit as she swam around very happily.
When we eventually got out and started walking back to where our bags were, she realised she was leaving wet footprints on the ground. So that was a game we had to play for a while. Which was fine, because we weren't in any hurry.
I'd thought ahead and brought a packed lunch, just the kind of valuable life skill I've learned over the last four years. And after eating it I thought we could head back via one of Cheshire's many farm shops for a go in the playground and, inevitably, an ice cream. G had chocolate, as she always does.
So that's about that. Next week I'm going back to work full-time, so I'll no longer be a stay-at-home parent. And besides, G's approaching the age when regular online updates of her life will pass from 'cute' to 'downright embarrassing'. So I think this is the best time to bring this blog to an end.
A lot of people have asked me whether I found the whole experience difficult. I sort of want to say yes, because I think that's what people expect to hear. But in reality, the answer is: no, not really. G slept through from ten weeks, always ate her food and has hardly ever been ill. When she started going to nursery part-time, she settled in fairly quickly. She likes her football and ballet classes on Saturdays, and is looking forward to being a big sister too.
I'd like to claim this is all because of my superior parenting ability, but to be honest I don't think I could have had it any easier.