Four Months

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Dear Elida,

We’re four months into our journey together in parenthood. Everything that everyone told us about it is true, too.

  • Babies don’t sleep well
  • Babies need things
  • Babies are disgusting

So…

  • I don’t sleep well
  • I don’t get things
  • I get to clean up disgusting things

All of the good things are true, too. I mean, look at that picture of you. That’s what I wake up to at 5:00 am. That gives me the energy necessary to brew my first pot of coffee. Everything takes care of itself after that.

I’ve never been one to complain or be particularly argumentative. Fights between your mom and I are a rare occasion. When they do happen, I make it worse by laughing and saying something like, “Come on!” I’m not saying that being fairly laid back is a requirement for having an agreeable parenting experience. It does help, though.

There are still limits to that laid back attitude, though. We were visiting your grandparents down in Portland a few months ago and I set you on the couch to make a bottle really quick. I’d done it a bunch at home.  Not 20 seconds later do I hear a little thud. You kicked herself off the thankfully low couch onto the thankfully carpeted floor.

I ran over to grab you and found you half upset/half startled. I picked you up, put you over my shoulder, and you started bawling. Very sad and dramatic. That was the first time that you really grabbed on to me and held me like a little person.

So, while I don’t leave you unaccompanied on anything except for a crib or pack n’ play anymore, that moment will burn forever in my head. Not because I’m an idiot, either.

I’m an idiot a lot.

But that was really the first time I saw you as something separate from your mom and I. Before that, I always just thought of you as an extension of us. You were always around us. You did whatever we wanted you to do. The limit of your emotions were around being tired and being hungry, both of which had pretty predictable cadences. That time felt like the first time you knew you needed me right at that moment.

When you’re older, you’ll be smart enough to realize that I was the one that put you in that spot in the first place. I imagine a feistier, older Elida punching my arm for that.

Now at four months, you grab a hold of me all of the time and do other things to remind us you’re really a distinct person. In the morning, after work, when you’re grumpy, when you’re happy… we start seeing little pieces of both of us independently expressed. Simple personality traits now but certainly on their way to becoming more complex.

It’s exciting. While you’re just starting to hit the fat, adorable baby stage, you’re also starting to discover your world one day at a time. Having a cute baby is nice but having one independent and observing of the world is a joy.

I never thought I would love having a baby. I always imagined that if I could skip the infant stuff and go straight to an adoring older toddler with good listening skills, I’d be the happiest person in the world. It’s great to go through this stage day by day, though. I realize why people really love it and why, in spite of crazy amounts of sleep deprivation, having another one sounds appealing. Not now, but maybe later.

There are a million things I could write about your budding personality but the biggest parts that stick out are your independence and your ease of loving anyone who takes care of you. While we have a primary nanny, we have a variety of fill in care as well as family members and the daycare at the gym that regularly interact with you.

You’re always happy to see us but you also seem content with nannies, family members, and whoever else is willing to give you some attention and laughs. No tears yet when mom leaves for work or dad leaves for a long trip. At least not from you.

In closing, I can’t wait to see what the next few months of development bring for us. We can’t wait to show you the world. And maybe we’ll start to get some more sleep? Hey, I can hope, right?

Love,

Dad

One thought on “Four Months

  1. Awesome post. Brings back many memories of my girls growing up. Toughest thing I ever done and the greatest thing I’ve ever done is being allowed to be their Dad. Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

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