Sunday, September 09, 2007

Fatherhood, three weeks in...

1. I never knew I knew how to do some of the things I do every day now. Like, baby-talk and improvised sing-songs. I always used to freeze up looking at babies, thinking, "that's a human being .... he can't be bothered by all those so-called adults making silly faces and sounds in front of him!"

Now I dance around the bedroom singing, "tickle the baby, tickle the baby, tickle the baby!" to the tune of Ride of the Valkyries. This is Fionn's introduction to Wagnerian Opera.

2. My wife doesn't speak to me directly anymore. I have to find out what's on my schedule by eavesdropping on her conversations with the child. As in, "And Daddy's gonna change you, and swaddle you, and then I'm going to feed you some more, and then we're going to bed!" Or, "And Daddy's going to make us lunch because he's the best daddy in the world!"

3. We've watched a lot of Buffy lately, during the run-up to the birth and the comatose hours of trying to get out of bed after the birth. During a recent episode, the Scooby Gang is up all night trying to figure out how to cast out a demon. One of them says, "I much prefer seeing the sun come up when I wake up early, than when I've been up all night. It's like I'm watching it from the wrong side." Amen.

4. The number of hours in the day has been significantly reduced. It begins with you letting yourself sleep through "the next feed cycle" because your baby was fussing from 4am until sun-up, so you don't get started until 11am. If you're lucky, he sleeps for two hours in the afternoon and you can get something done. Then your wife tries to take a nap from 3-5pm because she didn't sleep the night before because it takes him an hour to breastfeed (every 2 hours) at night. Next thing you know you're waking them both up at 6pm because the baby's "bedtime" is 8 and he better be awake before bedtime or else he won't sleep through the night (or something like that). So he feeds, you have some dinner, then he feeds again, and wife and child go through their hour long ritual to go back to sleep, even though in theory they've both been sleeping in hour chunks all day anyway. By now its 10pm, so you come out and start this blog post, then go prepare a bottle of formula so you can do the midnight feeding while your wife tries to sleep more than 3 hours in a row. Next thing you know you're settling down a gassy child, it's almost 2am, and you're about to do the whole thing over again...

5. I love adrenaline. It turns both you and your wife into superheroes when the other needs it. And hey, this is no one-person job.

6. The worst part about taking some time off for being a new dad is that you're guilted into not taking enough time off. Sure, 2-3 weeks *seems* like a lot of time to your co-workers, but after a few days of #4, you're wondering how the hell it just got to be Sunday ... again.

7. The best part about taking some time off for being a new dad is that you start off by spending some quality time with your favorite person in the world. Then everything gets turned on its head, and you suddenly discover this wonderful new favorite person in the world. And then you get to spend quality time with both your favorite people in the world!

And that's what all this "living life" stuff is all about, really.

1 comment:

Diary of an irish woman said...

doesn't sending you a text from bedroom to living room count as talking directly ;-) Here's to being SuperHero's - and to greatest Dad in the whole world. Especially doing the late shift so Mammy could sleep more than 1 hour...