On the Job Training for Daddy
Nine months down, what have I learned? Although, I know that I still have a lot to learn; I have learned a lot. Some of them interesting, others funny and others surprised me.
Mommy is My Favorite
No matter what I do, how long I do it and even if I do it better than Mommy (I’ve yet to find that particular skill or talent, which I do better than Lynn, but I am sure someday …), I have no chance of being his favorite.
It is clear to me that sometimes, when I am feeding him or holding him, that he is looking for Mommy. Sometimes, even though he is hungry and although we have developed games to play while we are eating, if Mommy comes into view, I may as well ‘pick up my ball and go home.’
I guess that is why athletes all over the world look into the camera after achieving something great and simply say, “Hi, mom!”
It’s okay DJ, I love Mommy, too!
Somewhere along the way, DJ decide that diaper changing time is actually Wrestle-babia time.
It doesn’t matter if I sing, dance or give him something to play with, he wants to cross his legs, roll over and/or crawl away.
Since our changing pad is on top of his dresser, if he rolls to his right and I don’t stop him, it can be a three foot fall. Lately he has really been keeping me on my toes.
Count to 10
I can understand why people lose their patience with babies. The key is to stop and count to ten every now and then.
- They can’t tell you what they want.
- They don’t know what you want.
- They don’t care what you want!
With nine months under my belt, I can understand that it is possible to lose your patience with a baby. That being said, I do not understand or accept hitting or shaking a child.
I’m not talking about a spanking. I’m talking about losing your cool to the point that you actually hurt your child.
Step back, count to 10 and give your baby a hug or a kiss.
Our Living Room is an Obstacle Course
Between the high chair, the walker/bouncer, the play mat and a variety of toys, the floor and pathway between the kitchen and our bedroom may often be a little cluttered.
We have to make sure that we turn on the lights and that we look where we are walking, especially because I have CMT – Muscular Dystrophy, which causes me to lose my balance even when I am not carrying a baby and navigating a living room obstacle course in the middle of the night.
The pool house, where we work during most days, is an obstacle course, too.
Late Night TV is Not So Great
From time to time, DJ will wake up in the middle of the night. Since he has been wearing his head band, he wakes up nearly every night between 1:00 am and 3:00 am and then again between 5:00 am and 6:30 am.
Sometimes, I bring him back to our bed, so that Lynn may give him some mother’s milk. Some nights, we head out into the living room for a bottle and some late night TV.
Here is the problem; late night TV sucks!
I will scroll through the shows and films recorded in our DVR. I can’t watch a show, which Lynn will want to watch together, so I have to decide how long I am planning on sitting up with DJ.
Does He Seem Hot to You?
I have become a surrogate hypochondriac. Is he too hot? Is he too cold? Virtually every sneeze, cough, cut, blemish, etc. is clearly the first sign of typhoid!!!
Well, actually, I am not that bad, but when he woke up after his nap with a red face, I sent a picture to
Lynn, asking, “What the heck is this … should I take him to the doctor?”
Poop Ain’t So Scary
I had never changed a diaper before I changed Daniel’s. Based on what I had seen on TV and in movies, I was certain that it was the most disgusting activity on Earth.
Well, it’s not so bad. I have had a couple of diaper change disasters, but I got through them unscathed and a better man.
The other day, I did something I am certain I had never thought I would do. DJ’s poopy diapers are sometimes filled with little poop balls.
The other day, he was squirming and rolling around, while I was trying to wipe him and one of these balls started to roll out of the diaper. Without even thinking about it, I reached down and caught that little ball of poop with two fingers. It didn’t even phase me.
I was more concerned with the poop getting on him or his fingers than I was about myself. That is what being a daddy is all about.
Sing, Sing a Song
I sing to Daniel, a lot. Multiple times per day. Typically, I will sing the “ABCs,” or “The Ants Go Marching,” (my version) or even “Old McDonald, ” but I have also started singing songs that my father used to sing to me.
Songs like, “Daisy Bell” (aka A Bicycle Built for Two) written in 1892, which we combine with, “Two Little Girls in Blue,” which was written in 1893. I also sing, “Down in the Heart of the Gas-House District” (aka Mandy), which was written in 1952, by Irving Berlin and others.
One thing is for certain; when I am singing he is smiling and laughing.
Since we like to have TV noise on, we have switched from the news to Sesame Street and Curious George in the morning. Calm down, we typically don’t face Daniel toward the television.
What I have noticed is that it is still basically the same show that I remember, featuring many of the same songs from my childhood. Although, I don’t believe that Daniel fully understands what is going on, he seems to laugh at the stuff which is funny and he dances along when the cast is singing.
Soccer is His Game
One thing is for sure; your baby will kick you in your pelotas!!! Between the headbutts and groin shots when DJ is in bed with us, I am getting my butt kicked on a regular basis.
In our case, the headbutts hurt me more than DJ, since he has been wearing a corrective helmet for about six weeks.
Deep, Unconditional Love
In one of my first posts, I said I was waiting for the feeling of love to come over me. With men, I think that it may be a more gradual emotion, but it is deep.
I am deeply in love. I tell everyone about him. I have even shown cashiers at the store his picture on my phone. I hug him, kiss him and squeeze him as often as he will let me.
I love when he falls asleep on my chest. I love when he falls asleep between us in bed, which was something I didn’t think was a good idea a year ago.
One thing is for certain, I have learned a lot in the last nine months and my life will never be the same.