What it’s like

So alot of my friends are asking me “so how’s it going, dad?” and “what’s fatherhood like?” This is how I often describe it:

Amazing. Totally amazing. Though so totally exhausting. Even on good days a baby is alot of work; on bad days, when she’s fussy and grumpy, she’s alot of work plus it’s like having the most painful noise in the world playing through headphones that are sewn into your ears.

The best way I can describe it is to imagine the most precious thing you’ve ever had in your life (for me before family I would say that was like my car – which I equate to freedom – or my camera – which is kind of how I tell my stories). Now imagine that you can never let that thing leave your site. In fact, you can never take your hand off that thing. At first you don’t care cause it’s novel and you’re still figuring out how it works so there are constantly new challenges. But eventually you want to put it down and eat or shower or go to the movies.

Now imagine you start to figure out how to put that thing down, but only for 60 minutes at a time. That’s essentially what it’s been like the first few weeks. Though she’s only got a semblance of a pattern, it’s really like a 2-3 hour cycle. However, 30-40 minutes of that cycle you’re feeding her, then you change her (10 minutes); then you play with her (10 minutes – she has a short attention span and gets overstimulated quickly); then you relax her for sleep (20-30 min); then she sort of falls asleep, but needs attention every few minutes when her hand or a hiccup scares the crap out of her (20-30 min); then she falls asleep (30-60 min). Then the whole thing repeats.

So you find yourself planning during the feeding/changing/playing/calming exactly what you’ll do during the 30-60 minutes she’s asleep. Which doesn’t turn out to be much time since you still have to do all the stuff you normally do like eat, pay bills, read something, watch tv, call friends, etc. So getting anything done is almost impossible.

In the end though, she makes a few sighs that are the most sweet sound I’ve ever heard and I kiss her cheek which is the softest skin in the world and it’s all worth it. Click play below (assuming your browser shows a media player), or [edit: link removed when site migrated to wordpress.com] to hear what I mean.

[edit: link removed when site migrated to wordpress.com]

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