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.