Some Thoughts On Being A Daddy

Matthew’s default operating mode

Once, when I was a child, I asked my parents, “How do I move my eyes?”.

I wasn’t sure that I had the whole “voluntary eye control” thing nailed (of course I did), so I asked my parents how to do it.

After giving my earnest question much more thought than it probably deserved, my parents responded, “I dunno. You just do it.”

“Well gosh”, thought my much younger self, “I’m sure that I’ll never learn how to do it.”
Fast forward to an only slightly younger version of myself. Knowing I was to have a son, I asked a friend how to be a parent. Her response was the same: “I dunno, you just do it.”

“Well gosh”, thought my only slightly younger self, “I’m sure that I’ll never learn how to do it.”

In a few days (well, four, to be exact), Matthew will be 4 months old. And I see now what my friend meant. The only way to do this is on the job training.

So here then are some observations from my ‘training’ up to this point.

He is particular. He will vomit upon nothing but the cleanest clothing (mine or his, doesn’t matter) and bed sheets.

After empirical research, I can attest that a full diaper is quite similar to a buttered slice of toast – they both land with the messy side down.

Patience is a virtue – which is evidently learned much later in life. The youngling is not willing to wait one single second for whatever he happens to want at that particular moment. Thankfully, it’s usually food, and it’s an easy thing to give.

I’ve found that bathing the baby is very similar to washing a car: a power washer greatly facilitates both processes, both require pretty good attention to detail areas, and in both instances, the right wax and polish can greatly improve the end appearance.
(Disclaimer: I do not actually wash the baby with a power washer or car wax/polish, and I recommend you don’t either)

Babies have mercifully short attention spans; the moment you take the bottle away, regardless of how long he’s been sucking down food, he will immediately set to screaming out the most pitiable and anguished cries imaginable. Ten seconds later, he’ll have no idea what he was on about in the first place, and see no reason to scream. The same when you remove him from the bathtub.

Noise is noise is noise. Matthew doesn’t care what I’m saying, what language I’m saying it in, or even if I’m actually saying anything at all. As long as Daddy’s lip flaps are moving and there’s sound coming out, he’s a happy baby. One time I’ll explain Schrödinger’s Cat to him while I dry him off post-bath (apparently the word cat is hilarious to him), another time I’ll babble incoherent vowel sounds at him. It’s all the same to him.

Baby screams are the hardest sound to listen to in the world. No funny comment here, just simple truth.

That’s all for today. Sorry if you were expecting more. There should be a new post tomorrow as well.

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One thought on “Some Thoughts On Being A Daddy

  1. You’re doing great. The fact that you’re an attentive daddy has already made a huge difference in Matthew’s life. Trust me. I’ve been doing this for awhile. 🙂

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