Wow, so being a parent is pretty full-on eh? I am pretty sure it was mentioned on the box in small print, but all that flashy “Miracle of Life” sloganese blinded me and I didn’t catch it.
Don’t get me wrong, I frigin’ adore being a dad, and I didn’t fully understand what love was before we had Casey, but man — it’s non-stop. No weekends off, no vacations. Absolutely every corner of your life, no matter how simple or complex it was, is consumed with being a parent.
We hit the 4 month mark the other day, and it gave me pause. We’ve been doing this for four months! I mean, I’ve worked jobs where at 4 months I was the veteran employee. But then, this isn’t any normal job. Duties change every day (doodie changes are multiple times a day), your boss is completely bi-polar and only laughs or cries his approval or disappointment in your performance, the hours are shite, and the income is really outcome.
But the benefits are awesome. Truly.
And we are finding our groove. Most parenting books stress the importance of a routine, and as a self-employed individual with an attention span shorter than that last paragraph, routines are not my strong suit. It’s taken quite a bit of habit bending, breaking and realigning, but we’re getting there.
The funny part is that as much as it goes somewhat against my personality to follow a strict routine, I’m surprised with how comfortable it makes things. With all the chaos and unknowns that come with being a new parent, little things like a 7:30 bath time make it all a bit easier.
The last four months really have been a blur, with no real sense of slowing. However, we are starting to hit milestones in Casey’s development that make every tinge of negativity that might have seeped through above melt away and seem small, slight and petty.
He’s gone from being a cry/no-cry spud in a blanket, to a little dude that has expressions, moods, and things that make him laugh (he can’t get enough of us mock-sneezing for some reason). He’s sitting up (with assistance) and really taking in the world now. It’s amazing to watch his beautiful eyes scan the room looking for things he recognizes, and pondering things he doesn’t.
He’s started to stretch his vocal chords, and while when he’s really putting them to the test it’s a bit stressful, most of the time just listening to him squawk and mumble is fascinating. He’s also begun to grasp objects. Just the other day his movements were jerky and a bit spastic, but you could see the focus and intention in his face. And now he can quite confidently reach out and grab something he wants.
So, after 120-some-odd (mostly odd, really) days of being a dad; I don’t know if it’s getting any easier, but it’s definitely getting more and more rewarding. And if my decades on this rock have taught me anything, life’s biggest rewards are never easy. It’s the challenges and constant learning in life that makes this all more than just some morbid countdown.
It’s said that nothing comes easy, but I don’t buy that. Plenty of things come easy — just none of them are anywhere near as amazing as my son.