category: Fatherhood

Newfound Popularity

Man, it’s been a busy 2007 so far. And will continue to be for the foreseeable future. Everybody wants to visit or be visited. Apparently, a baby makes you far more popular than you used to be.

That’s a good thing, though, and we’ve all really enjoyed seeing everyone. Rasine also digs all the new faces. She may turn out to be the extravert that Huyen and I aren’t… she seems to love parties and large get-togethers, just staring at everyone, taking it all in. And, often, she turns up the Cute Meter to 11.

Oh, by the way, Rasine says “hi.” Except it sounds more like “aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.”

Unexpectedly Helpful Things

Over the past two weeks, there are three items or techniques that I’ve found particularly helpful with child care. May I share them with you? Thanks!

  1. My glasses tip: if you wear glasses, when you lay down at night, don’t fold them up before putting them on the nightstand. Leave them unfolded because you’ll be doing a lot of getting out of bed to check on the kid. It’s a lot easier to just put them right on your face (possibly jamming your eye in the process) than fiddling with them to get them on your face.
  2. The Inclined to Sleep Sleep Wedge. This thing is great. We use it when she’s sleeping in bed with us as well as when she’s in her bassinet to help keep her snug and secure. The memory foam to prevent flathead is a nice touch, too.
  3. Puppy Pads. We had a few of these on hand and found ourselves unexpectedly using them as changing pads for the baby. We end up doing most of our diaper changing on the floor of whatever room we’re in, so having these on hand is great for those unexpected mid-change fountains.

More to follow in the coming years.

Initial thoughts on becoming a father

I’ve been at this dad thing for a little under a week now and being that our daughter is doing well and has sustained no serious traumas, I think it’s safe to say that I’m doing alright.

Sure, every morning at 2am Rasine decides to scream at frequencies that peel paint and at a volume that has me jabbing at my eardrums with a pencil, but most of the day, she’s an absolute sweetheart. When she wakes up from a nap and starts moving with her slow, deliberate arm motions, glancing left and right trying to focus on nearby objects, I find myself just staring at her and mentally catalogging every facial expression she makes.

She’s been eating like a champion, too. We’re pretty sure she’s going to gain a pretty serious freshman 15 and the rate she’s been packing the milk away.

Something else that’s been interesting is finding all the things that are different from what I expected them to be. Everyone seemed to tell me with some degree of surity what to expect from the first days of fatherhood. Turns out, most of them were wrong. Or at least off the mark a little. Shall I explain?

  • “You have no idea what you’re in for. Get ready to never sleep again.” Actually, aside from first thing in the morning, I feel well-rested. And it’s not like Rasine is some magic sleeper — she’s nursing every 90 minutes to two hours. Not that I’m nursing her. That would be like going to a diner that lets you look at the menu, but won’t let you order. But, I’m sleeping in short bursts ranging from 20 minutes to a few hours. I don’t bother counting the cumulative amount I’ve slept, but I feel like I’ve adapted pretty quickly to the sleep-when-you-can schedule. (This may change once I go back to work next week.)
  • You better get everything done now. You won’t have anytime to do anything after she’s born. I’ve gotten way more done this week staying home with Huyen and the baby than I would have if I had stayed home alone. Perhaps it’s because I remained focused rather than getting distracted by stupid court shows (sorry, Judge Judy) or Maury’s latest paternity test. Or maybe it’s because my mom being around allowed me to make progress on stuff while she helped out with a lot of the day-to-day things around the house.
  • Your life as you know it will change. Actually, this one is true. But I always thought this was kind of a weird thing to tell someone who was about to have a child. I mean, um, duh? We all know it’s going to change… I don’t think anyone goes into parenthood with some weird delusion that their life is going to be the same after as before; it’s just a matter of how it’s going to change. For me, the change isn’t that I feel like there’s less time for the non-baby things in life I love… it’s just that now there’s something else that I love a whole lot more.