90 minutes a day, normally, 2 hours if we get lucky.
That’s less than I spend driving.
Life and work and being responsible-ish squeeze most of the life out of us before I get to see Mango.
First thing in the morning, I peek into her cot and she is stretching from head to toe with excitement, grinning so wide you can’t tell if her ears are outside or inside her mouth.
For the next 10 or 11 hours she lives out her days, her walks, her snoozes, and her finger chewing - all while I’m elsewhere behind a laptop, speaking pigeon Dutch and all too often counting to ten.
At the end of the day she is just as pleasant as she was when it started, coyer perhaps, but full of smiles and dribbles saved up for me.
With four months having already flown by, should things have to remain on the same schedule it would be a true shame. Thankfully, and luckily, they don’t. Dutch law entitles both parents to 26 weeks parental leave, to be used, within reason, in any form they wish.
Because of this, I get to spend July getting it all back. Aside from the wee bit where I abandon my family, I have the entire month free when ET goes back to work. That leaves 22 of those 26 weeks, which I get to use 1 day at a time, once a week, for the next 2 years or more.
Thanks to some sensible parental leave legislation, from August onwards I’m cutting to 4 days a week.
From then on, Donderdag is ‘Papa dag’.
From then on, I get to do some serious squeezing back.