I realized today just how much I love my daughter. She was in her swing smiling, cooing, laughing; I was doing dishes (my favorite part of being a grown-up…NOT), and then she made a face that said, “I feel safe daddy, I love you, and now I’m going to take a nap.” It was said all in her eyes. What a moment for a new father.
I also realized today how my beautiful daughter can really test my patience, and it wasn’t even her fault which made me feel like a “Big D.” As anyone who takes part in the real world knows, the high points don’t come without their lows. Ali was due for her daily-dose of Zantac this evening and I convinced Lilly to wait until the next feeding before giving it to her. Wrong move on my part. Soon thereafter Aliana spit up on me 5-7 times in a matter of 30 minutes. Some were messier than others but they were all hot, sour, curdled goo. I’ll tell ya, I know it’s not Ali’s fault but damn its annoying getting puked on that many times in such a short period. As a parent I’m learning your patience is constantly tested and you’re forced to keep yourself calm especially when you feel like screaming.
At the end of the day the UP’s greatly outway the DOWN’s. Her smiles have the ability to shutout the world around me, to make me forget about the blowout she just had, or the projectile vomit that just ruined my clothes. She’s so stinkin’ cute it’s impossible to stay frustrated for long. Keep up the good work Ali, you’re doing great!
I believe Lilly does a much better job at writing about her experiences as a mother than I do writing about mine as a father. Lilly really captivates me when I read one of her posts. I wish she posted everyday, but an infant doesn’t allow much room for personal time. I feel my writing abilities are more statement/fact-oriented and less about getting the reader to envelop themselves with my story. I spend most of my workday writing professionally to clients. The emails are formal, to the point, are generally boring and usually are requesting something I’ve asked for many times before. There isn’t a whole lot of room for creative expression. My limited vocabulary doesn’t help either in my goal for greatness in writing. Hopefully my continued reading will help me pick up a broader range of descriptive abilities to illustrate my experience as a 25 year old first-time dad. (Please note the obvious use of the Thesaurus).
In an attempt to continue my quest for greatness in writing, I want to show you show you what I thought to be a funny size and attitude comparison of Aliana. I tend to put Aliana in places where she is compared to common everyday objects that are much bigger than she is with her being an infant. The first photo is her sitting upright on a full-size futon wearing a look of concern.
The second photo is where the concern has turned to intense frustration of “Pick me up Daddy! Why did you leave me on this thing?”
It’s been an interesting experience learning Aliana’s cries of what she is struggling to communicate with us. I actually think we’ve all been learning as the days go by. Aliana’s learning how to cry, and we’re figuring out what they mean. It’s getting easier to tell when Aliana is experiencing pain like acid reflux, anger or frustration with Mommy and Daddy, a poopy diaper, or the need to feed. I’m definitely looking forward to her growing ability to interact with us.
Well, I tried to go without coffee today in an attempt to spend one entire day in caffine detox since Ali’s birth, but it turned out to be a failed attempt. I got to the office at 7:10AM, and by 8:00AM I was face-in-palm asleep. At least the effort was there. Right?
I’ve done some research recently on being a first time dad and the realizations and struggles that come our way post birth. The take-away was that no matter how prepared we thought we were as fathers, we weren’t even close. In fact, we showed up to the pier days after the boat set sail. This pretty well describes me, the dad. I was spot on with all the pregnancy stuff (except the preggie pops), but did not even consider what I would do once Ali entered the world, let alone how to take care of her. Now that Ali is 5 1/2 weeks old the shock of parenting has worn off, and the day-to-day exhaustion is now more of a lifestyle. I don’t want to call it a struggle, because being a new parent isn’t a bad thing, but it’s not easy.
Sleep deprivation aside, my most favorite part of each morning, and one of the reasons I feel so blessed, is I get to witness Ali and Lilly snuggled up in bed together under the early morning light for a few minutes before walking out the door. The two of them look so peaceful it pains me to leave but I know with the love they have for each other they are going to be just fine until I come home.