Today was my wife’s first day back at work after her maternity leave. That means it’s also my very first day as a full-time dad. I posted on Facebook that:
“I once had hopes that I would be able to get many things accomplished during my days. I might write, or do some freelance work, or even just relax with a book or a nap. Instead, my entire day was spent
- Futilely asking my daughter why she was crying;
- Feeding; and
- Cleaning food that was spit back up.
I might need to revise my expectations a bit.”
The comments were a mix of “Oh, you laughably naive first-time parent” elbowing mixed with a few “This is as easy as they get until they’re in school so enjoy it!” advice. Which of course, makes a guy feel just loads better. So, thanks everybody! You’re swell. Anytime you want to babysit during the day, just let me know.
In all seriousness, my daughter is a wonderfully well-behaved baby. Her pediatrician said she’s just a “happy spitter,” meaning her weight gain and growth are perfectly fine, she doesn’t have acid reflux, she just spits up. Until the esophageal sphincter (the flap at the base of the esophagus that keeps food down) finishes developing (probably by 12 months old), we’re going to be doing a lot of laundry.
Speaking of, it’s amazing how much she has already changed. During my daughter’s emerging newborn phase (6 weeks old), I posted a list of her favorite things. I thought it would be interesting to update that periodically.
These are a few of my daughter’s favorite things.
- Sleeping through the night! (Cheers and confetti) She has slept through the night since about the 6-8 week mark, and has slept soundly from 8 p.m. to 4-5 a.m. for the last month. Huzzah!
- Food, especially in the morning. After all that sleep we are VERY ready to eat when Dad comes to feed us.
- Putting things in her mouth. This is how babies start to develop their understanding of the world around. God only knows why they can’t do it by touch and feel. Nope, it has to go in the mouth.
- Mom. Mom is still definitely the favorite.
- Spitting up. (See above.)
- Car rides.
- Ed Sheeran.
- Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
- Bathtime. (Usually.)
She does not like:
- Tummy time. At all. It’s a struggle to get five consecutive minutes before she is full-on, eyes-clenched-shut-mouth-open-no-sound-coming-out screaming.
- Naps. (Our pediatrician speculated that because she is sleeping so much at night the tradeoff may be naps during the day. We get about one good nap of an hour a day, plus a 30 minute cat nap in the morning and the afternoon.)
- Taxation. (It’s theft.)
- When I gently (read: sometimes it’s a struggle) remove her fist from her mouth so she can eat actual food instead of her hand.
- The British impressment of US sailors that primarily led to the War of 1812.
- When she can’t see Mom or Dad.
- President of the Gambia Yahya Jammeh.
- Having her arms inserted into or removed from her sleeves. (Beats me.)
- Being posed for cute Facebook pictures.
- When Dad writes posts about her that will invariably cause her to die of embarassment when she’s in high school and he brings it up to her prom date.