Daddy Time

Xanadu Weyr - Dragon's Rest Farm
In contrast to the gigantic barn is the smaller homestead. The structure is a small two-level cottage, complete with a covered porch that sweeps around the exterior. The wooden slats of the house seem freshly painted, as if this old place has been brought back to life by careful hands. A chair-swing sways beneath the shade of the porch, moving with the slightest breeze off the sea. Inside, the quaint space has been decked out with the comforts one might expect. Fluffy rugs cover hardwood floors, and finely carved furniture dominates most of the spaces. A few things here and there seem older, heirlooms that now have a new place to call home.

Everything within the cottage is comfortable, rather than elaborate. Though it may have once been empty, there is now a warm, welcoming feel to the place. Many large windows and sliding doors look out upon both the training field and across the road, a view of the beach and the sea beyond. Even on the hottest days, these can be opened to let in air and leave the rooms cool and comfortable. Set back a ways from many of the other Weyrbarns along the roadway, there is plenty of room for those who need a bit of space and privacy. There is plenty of space, leaving room to grow, to learn, to expand, and most of all… it is a warm, safe place to come home to when the day's tasks are done.

A day in the life of a father. It starts early. Sometimes, very, very early. Depending on what mood Skyler's in. Today, he's allowed his father to sleep in a few candlemarks later than usual. It's a rest day for one of his parents, and that lucky parent is the one who'll be his full caretaker today. Lucky day, Ka'el! He actually got to sleep in.

But not for too late in the day. Skyler's up, and he's a pro at letting his parents know when he's up. But Ka'el's okay with his usual morning summoning. He knows the ritual. A diaper change and breakfast consisting of cut fruit and oatmeal. A little bit of scrambled eggs which Ka'el is willing to share.

Then playtime! With the firelizards. With the zippy, dooking tunnelcats. With his many, many toys. Skyler is not a child that lacks entertainment in his days, and Ka'el is all too happy to be considered one more big toy to add to the pile. He'll tickle and roughhouse and watch those pudgy arms and legs flail. He'll roll with his boy and wiggle, squeeze, and rattle all of those interesting toys that makes those baby blues go wide and his not so toothless grin grow even wider. Playtime is Ka'el's favorite time. It's Skyler's too.

Diaper change! Eee-yuck!

Then, there's a nap. When they play, they play hard! And thus, crashing out on the floor together is a very reasonable thing to do. The toys will be picked up .. eventually.

But not right after the nap, because after napping a snack must be had, which Ka'el prepares both for himself and his son. Cut up fruit and little cereal crunchies make for good near-toddler and adult food! It's a good thing Skyler has no problem sharing.

Diaper change and bathtime! Splish-splash! Suds and fun! Why is there so much water everywhere? Ah well, Ka'el will clean it up eventually. Skyler is pink and clean after a warm bath with his bathtime friends, and with a fresh diaper, clean clothes, and a bag packed it's time for an outing!

After grabbing Skyler's jacket. It's kind of chilly outside. Spring is still young.

And maybe he should be wearing his little boots instead of just socks because … it's kind of chilly outside, as mentioned before. Soriana would kill him if Skyler caught a cold. about that knit cap? .. Why do so many of his hats have ears? Oh well. Skyler-bear it is.

Okay, after rechecking the wardrobe for season-appropriateness, it's time for an outing! (Oh, and about that mess that they left inside? He'll clean it up when they get back) For now, it's on to the garden park where nannies take their charges and fosters let the kids play! Ka'el does realize he's the minority here, one of the few (no, make that the only!) men toting a baby around, but it's not a fact that's ever bothered him. Going to the park is more fun because, unlike before when park visits consisted of Skyler being carried around as he slept, the boy can do things now! Sort of. With lots of help from dad.

He can swing! In the baby swing. With gentle pushes that are hardly pushes at all but it's movement, back and forth, and it's so much fun!

He can slide! On his father's lap with the gleeful laughter of older kids who point and claim that 'the Weyrleader's gonna break the slide!' in his ears.

He can shift around in the sandbox! No help from anyone needed there. He can sit just fine all by himself, thank you, and his gross and fine motor control are both things to brag about! It's just that the sand is a little cold, and there's some slush that makes the texture of everything sort of icky, and half-melted spring snow doesn't taste good at all with sand mixed in and so he's not too happy about that.

Time for another snack! (Why did Ka'el think yogurt was a good idea?) And a diaper change. All after getting sand out of his mouth and soothing away tears.

There are more adventurous excursions to have in the day. A visit to the smithy (which they won't tell mom about!) to catch up with friends and watch flames dance and sparks fly with comically large goggles held up to his eyes. A ride home on Kanekith's back (which they might tell mom about, if Luraoth doesn't rat them out first) during which the bronze did a very praise-worthy job of keeping his footsteps gentle as to not jostle his passengers too much. At home, there's more playtime. More toys. Lunch. More diaper changes. Tunnelcats to crawl after. Furniture to pull up on. Daddy's hands to hold as he tries out stepping forward.

Things spill. Clothes get stained. Stories are read from books on the shelf. A worn out father and son fall asleep in the rocking chair.
There was a mess in the kitchen to clean. Toys are strewn everywhere. Towels in the bathroom are wet and on the floor. One of the tunnelcats has found a dropped cereal oat to nibble on. It was all going to get cleaned up. Will get cleaned up, eventually. But for now, on his rest day, Ka'el rests with Skyler for yet another nap.

And the day is only halfway over!

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