Having a family isn’t for the faint of heart. Once you’ve made the decision to start, there are no take-backs.
Parenting children is an exciting concept when the child is still in utero. You have these wild, idyllic visions of a cute baby who you’ll cuddle with and who will eat, sleep and coo as she takes in the largeness of the new world around her. She will love you from first glance and you’ll give her the keys to the kingdom. Then the reality sets in — quickly. Yes, the baby is still cute. She’ll even eat for you, but as for the sleeping and cooing, she’ll make you earn that level of peace. It’s like trying to earn an achievement in a video game. And as far as what other dads say, “She’s going to have you wrapped around her finger!” ... well, early on, that’s rubbish, too. There was many a groggy morning that I thought she might have me wrapped around a telephone pole instead. Grande Americano, please — yes, all four shots.
We’re closing in on the five-month mark. The sleep is getting there for us, but the cooing and the cuteness are still going strong. And as dads, we have little to latch on to out of the gate. Depending on what our wife chooses, we may or may not feed the baby, which means we have little power to comfort her when she’s showing off the volume of her lungs. Kind of renders us useless for a while. But then, there’s that one day when you’re holding her in your arms and she smiles at you. The child who has robbed you of many nights of sleep has now stolen your heart, too.
“She’s going to have you wrapped around her finger!”
The words run back through your head, “She’s going to have you wrapped around her finger!” It’s true. I officially felt like the dad of a daughter and suddenly I wanted to hold her all of the time, I wanted push the stroller, and I wanted to read her books — “Olivia gets dressed. She has to try on everything...” And amidst all of the pink clothes and the adorable headbands, that moment of clarity hit when I realized that this isn’t going to get better. This is the best of the worst. She’s moved in to my heart, kicked the boys out, and there’s nothing I can do about it. And despite being 5 months old, that smile she flashes at me tells me that she knows it, too.