I am finally back. I want to start with an insane shout out to my partner in crime in these affairs for being about the best business partner one could ask for. Not only did he check up on me all the time, he covered several blog posts for me and intended to cover an episode until that unruly brother of his took him on a duck hunt. But who can blame him.
As of right now, Dax is 3 weeks and two days old. Jordyn is feeding him while we watch “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” while I write this post. This three weeks has been… the most trying of my entire life. I never lacked respect before, but now have a new found respect for everyone who has children that have made into adulthood happy and healthy. I have already started to learn things as a father and also had to learn some things for myself that people had already tried to warn me about.
When you have a baby everyone has advice or their own story. Some of that stuff is really helpful. Weird ways they burped their baby or something like that which may come in handy. Also if you have a boy, he will pee on you. And then you will make sure he is covered always. But he will still get you.
One of the things that always caught me was that so many men told me that the moment I held my baby everything would change for me. That women are mothers when they find out they are pregnant and men are fathers when they hold their child. I looked forward to that.
When Dax was born I didn’t experience that instant feeling that everyone talked about. I don’t know if it’s because I was so tired or it didn’t go exactly as we planned or what, but I didn’t feel that and then was nervous. This is all so new and I didn’t know and still don’t know how I’m supposed to feel. All I can do is what feels natural.
I took three weeks off of work and had a fair amount of time to think about what I wanted or whatever was on my mind. And it took until the third week for me to figure it out. Dax has some days where he is inconsolable. The nurses at our local hospital call it “the phase of purple crying“ and gave us a DVD to help us deal with it. It essentially breaks down that sometimes your baby just cries, and there isn’t anything to be done. Eventually you have done everything but the baby is still upset and it’s easy to get frustrated or upset with yourself because you might think you are doing something wrong, when really you aren’t.
So it’s in the middle of one of these days where I’m trying to let Jordyn get some sleep because she is up every time he wants to eat which can be exhausting. So I’m holding my baby who is screaming at the top of his lungs and has been for 45 minutes, and that’s when it hits me. I know I love him because I wouldn’t accept this behavior from anyone else. Not even my wife. I would just walk away for a while or if it was someone else’s child I would never watch them again.
But when Dax is this upset, as frustrated as I am, all I want is for him to be happy. I want him to be calm so he can sleep and eat and be fulfilled. But it’s not just with this behavior, it’s with everything. Right now in my area we have an average of about 9” of snow and anyone else I would force to go places with me if I wanted them to. My son, I didn’t want to even leave the house if he didn’t have to. I’m limiting the small children I bring my baby around because I am afraid for him to get sick when he is this young. I told my mom yesterday that all I want for him right now is to be safe.
I am beginning to understand what people mean when they say the love you have for your child is indescribable. I don’t mean that in the cliche way like “oh man it’s just so intense I can’t even describe it“. I mean I don’t understand it. Being a father to a newborn is something that is foreign to me in the way my brain works. I have lots of experience with babies and newborns, but spending 3 weeks straight with something that makes no logical sense is extremely difficult to even really comprehend when you live your life based on logic. Because the behavior of a baby is not dictated by any logic past eating, pooping, and sleeping. On my best days I can be very understanding, but on my worst days at 2:30 in the morning? Not always the case.
As I watch my son flail his arms around and every so often slap himself because he doesn’t even know that his hands are attached to his body, I am astounded. Astounded that human beings brains are so wildly complex that we can begin as creatures that are barely sentient and learn and grown and evolve in just a few decades to put people in space or learn to put someone’s face on someone else’s body. It instills an appreciation for people that I did not have before, but now do not think I will ever lose.
I cannot wait to see Dax grow up and choose a path for his life so that I can say that I have seen the entire scope of his progression of intelligence, at least as much as I could. I’m sure when he is an adult I will eat those words and want this time back when he relied on us and was actually comforted by us instead of annoyed by us. Right now I just try to take it day by day and make sure I am doing everything I can to do my best everyday.