It happened sometime a few days ago, just before my son turned four months old. I was changing his clothes, preparing for a cold outdoor day. He started laughing – really, truly laughing – and it struck me. Miles finally seemed like a real human being, an actual person. He was no longer a mere potato. Level up!
I’d been enjoying this new laughing development. For a couple weeks now, he’s been absolutely losing it when he’s put on the changing table. My wife and I have no idea why, but he loves being there. He smiles, he coos, and when new clothes are pulled down over his head, he lets rip with hearty, real-deal laughter. Continue reading “Four Months Old // My Son Is Finally A Person”
My son is now three months old, and we feel almost, kind of, maybe just maybe safely out of the emergency zone of parenthood. It’s no longer a second-to-second job keeping him alive; the intervals have expanded in scope, to minutes, then hours. We’re not going to get complacent, but we can breathe easy now, knowing that we’ve got the hang of raising him – and that he’s got the hang of this whole living thing.
I was talking to a fellow new dad in an online fatherhood group last night when the notion struck me. I finally feel like I know something about being a dad; enough to confidently impart knowledge on someone else. Amazing!
Continue reading “Small Victories in the Dawn of Fatherhood”
For the first six weeks of my son’s life, I only wanted to relax the moment he fell asleep. My son was colicky, a wildly difficult baby who, basically, was crying if he was awake. When he wasn’t actively feeding, he was deeply upset. It seemed like he just wasn’t getting the hang of this whole living thing.
This time was an utterly overwhelming experience, all-consuming in its urgency and attention for his mom and I. We took turns feeling crazy, giving each other little breaks, and teaming up to tackle that baby’s problems. Now that we’ve got couple weeks’ distance, I can appreciate the struggle for what it was. Despite what everyone says, I truly don’t think I’ll ever miss those days.
Continue reading “Two Months Off // The Early Days of Parenting”
When I became a father this month, I decided to honor the moment by making a new mixtape. I’ve made mixes in all sorts of genres for all sorts of moods, but this time I had a new, very specific aim: to capture the feeling of being an exhausted, mildly ecstatic new dad.
To that end, I decided to make my first dad rock mixtape. But I couldn’t start with just any old stereotypical “dad” music. This had to be my vision of dad rock. So don’t expect any Springsteen or Steely Dan. This is another flavor entirely.
Continue reading “Miles To Go // A Brave Dadshaw Mixtape”
Today would have been my mom’s 67th birthday. That’s her in the photo above, holding me as a baby. She’s been gone five years now, and her sudden loss still haunts me from time to time. Especially lately, I’ve been thinking of her.
Continue reading “Mom.”
Last time I wrote, I was foolishly confident that we were about to leave the hospital and embark on our grand parenthood journey in the real world. I should have taken my own words to heart, expecting nothing beyond what I knew.
The next morning, we woke to the news that Miles had jaundice and was going to stay several more days in the hospital under special lamps. It’d been two days since he was born and four since we’d checked in, so we weren’t exactly thrilled to have to stay longer. Still, the worst part was that we were unable to hold him much at all during this time. It felt like yet another rug pulled out from beneath us.
Continue reading “Stuck In The Hospital // “Deja Vu All Over Again””
When I last wrote here, I was facing down a lengthy labor in the hospital with my brave, tenacious Kaitlyn. We’d had the wind knocked from our sails, changed direction, and approached childbirth from a new direction. We were prepared for this challenge anew, ready for our child to be born any minute.
Spoiler alert: things didn’t turn out as expected. Not even close.
Continue reading “My Son Is Here // This Is His Birth Story”
The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.
It’s one of the simplest stories around, the eternal struggle of mankind, almost Zen-like in its undeniable truth. This rough translation from a 1786 poem by Robert Burns winds its way through history, completely unperturbed by progress and time. It was, of course, the grand inspiration for John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men, a book you probably forgot all about after middle school. Even more, it’s an instructional quote to remember any time you find expectations getting out of hand.
In other words, it’s a perfect line to keep in mind when you’ve got a baby on the way.
Continue reading “Great Expectations // What Not To Expect When You’re Expecting”
We’ve got only a few days until our baby is due to be born into this world. We’ve spent weeks remodeling several rooms of our home, with the amazing help of my fiancee’s parents and we’re finally relaxing in the home stretch. But we had one important task to complete: putting together the baby furniture.
Two nights ago, I built the dresser. This thing looked like a handsome and eminently usable piece of furniture for the baby room. It also looked pretty easy to set up. While the end result certainly wasn’t a long road full of trouble, the instructions could have been a bit more helpful.
Continue reading “Baby Furniture // Some Assembly Required”
Yesterday I got into a discussion about keeping ketchup in the fridge versus leaving it out. The answer, of course, is that it doesn’t matter. But something bigger happened: it suddenly dawned on me that my future child will probably enjoy ketchup on his goddamn chicken nuggets.
I shuddered at the thought.
Continue reading “Ketchup on Chicken”