I’ve been a dad now for almost two months. There really is nothing like it. As much as I was kind of tired of everyone telling me, “Life is going to change,” with a goofy grin on their face as if I were an unsuspecting simp and they were imparting to me some secret knowledge that I was going to be shocked to discover, the fact is that life does change. However, despite the necessity for adapting to the baby’s needs and schedule, the degree of how much life actually does change is at least partially in the parents control. How much do I let this baby dictate my life to me? Make no mistake, it will dictate a fair amount, but I am the parent, so I will remain in control. If I start giving in now at age 0, things are going to get really interesting at ages 5, 8, and 13. So, this is my thought process and the whole point to our Get Back To Normal Week. It’s all about staying in control.
Which leads us to Sunday night and a reminder that often times, the baby is the boss. The thing about the baby calling the shots is, that for a while they don’t even know they’re calling the shots. So really the baby’s biology is really the one in charge. Case in point:
Jen and I have worked out a pretty good routine so far, as far as bedtime/late-night-feedings are concerned. Lily will eat at about 10 or 10:30 PM and once she’s done breastfeeding Jen will go to bed and I’ll finish off dinner by giving Lily a bottle. I’ll stay up for a while to burp her and wait for her to get sleepy enough for bed. Sometimes she’s very pleasent and we have some nice time together as she drifts off, other times she screams like a banshee and I want to bury my head in the sofa cushions to silence the screams. On weekdays, Jen gets up for the middle of the night feedings and lets me sleep since I have to go to work in the morning. On weekends, I take over the middle of the night duties and Jen gets to catch up on sleep. Its a pretty good system and has worked well for us so far.
This past Sunday night started off no different. Jen had gone to bed and Lily and I were sitting on the living room couch. She was in a really good mood, eyes wide open, just looking around taking in the living room and me. It was a nice father-daughter time. As she sat there on my lap, I felt and heard a little rumbling from down below which she accompanied with a grunt. Neither of these actions was abnormal, Lily’s main form of communication right now is grunting and, as all babies are, she’s prone to being a little gassy. So I didn’t think much of it. Until I felt a strange hotness on my stomach. “Uh oh, what is this?”, I said to Lily. I lifted her up to see an expanding wet spot on her pj’s. That rumbling I had felt was no gas bubble. She had produced something vile that soaked through her diaper, her onesie, her pj’s, my sweatshirt, and my t-shirt to give me that hot sensation on my stomach. Not warm, hot.
I got up and headed for the changing table in her room. Fortunately Jen was still awake and we tagged teamed to clean up the mess. According to family lore, Jen’s dad once had a similar situation with another grandchild and put him in a wheelbarrow and sprayed him down with a garden hose. I’ll admit, left to my own devices that course of action probably would have crossed my mind. But we took the more conventional route, using up about fifteen wet wipes and then washing her off in the sink.
So, yeah, as you can plainly see, I’m totally in control over here. Life has indeed changed, but not so much that its unrecognizable. Sure there are a few more late nights and it takes us twice as long to get ready to go anywhere, but I wouldn’t go back for anything.