Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Being There

I began babysitting early on.  I've always been responsible, I love children, and it was an easy way to make money.

Add to this all the babies I've been around for as long as I can remember and you have someone who doesn't scare easy around a newborn.  Or dirty diapers.  And who doesn't blink when a certain someone gets fussy and there is nothing to fix it.

It's part of being a parent.  Adapting and doing what is needed.  And sometimes just having to figure it out before the neighbors wonder what is happening to the baby in that apartment.

My husband has never been through any of these issues.  Up until our son was born, he'd never held a baby.  He loves kids, loves to play with them, but the truth was that anything that wasn't already walking scared him a little.

These last (almost) 7 weeks have completely changed that for him.  He feeds and diapers and dries little hands and feet after baths.  They sit together on the couch and talk and laugh and even appear to be watching cartoons.

But there are still those days.

Those days where even after the feeding and playing and diapering that someone still doesn't seem happy.  That someone would still prefer to be cuddled with his mommy to fall asleep, no matter how exhausted he is or that daddy would like to be the one doing it.

Every time this happens, A gets frustrated.  He thinks he is a failure, a bad parent, because he can't do it all.  And I've had to explain that he needs to relax and just remember that that little thing in his arms is just as frustrated right now as he is.

This morning, our son was up around 4:30, exactly 8 hours after going to bed.  While I changed a diaper and got him settled to eat, A prepped a bottle and made sure we were going to be okay before he went back to bed.  I love the early morning feedings, so I told him we had everything we needed and then asked about his evening since I was in bed early.  The baby had started to eat, but as soon as daddy began talking, he dropped his bottle and turned his head to look up at him, listening and smiling to the sound of his voice.  Once the talking stopped, he went back to eating as if he had never stopped.

I looked up at A and told him that that was the proof that he was doing a great job as a daddy.  All this technical stuff, learning to take care of his son and doing what was needed to help him grow, that was stuff we'd figure out together and make happen.  But that moment, when his son wants nothing more than him, and looks up at him like that, that was something that couldn't be forced or taught.

His son already knows he is there for him.  And that is what matters right now.

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