Nearly seven months in and still almost every day brings something new. The sheer amount of these experiences is staggering for such a short period of time, and watching Charlee mature and develop into a little person is unfathomable.
I still genuinely think that the clincher is going to be when my little bubbaloo actually says it.
Yeah, that’s the ticket.
But I will tell you this. So far, I’m having so much fun!
Sure, there are some days that the word “fun” would not describe in a million years, and with that I offer you the “Hello, my name is dad, best, and least best things about parenting“.
Like any conveyance of news, let’s start with the bad.
You will never sleep the same again
Let’s think about that sentence for a second. I’m not saying that you will never sleep again – that’s on you, my friend. But the idea of waking up at noon on a Sunday at this point would be tied to a gross demonstration of child negligence.
I’m sure we’ve all heard the stories on both ends of the spectrum with regards to kids’ sleep habits, and I for one will be the first to admit that whatever I think we have right now, is just point in time and could change again. But for the most part, my understanding is that Charlee is somewhere in the middle of good and bad sleepers, leaning more toward good sleepers, considering the ever increasing 7+ hour stretches.
Regardless, when baby’s up… baby’s up!
Sure they sleep up to 15 hours a day at this age… but not 15 hours straight! And not at reasonable hours! And not without naps which may or may not prove to be successful!
My full time job is at the office. I’m up when Charlee stirs, but Becca spoils me by dealing with her overnight wakings. Otherwise, I’m up sometime between 6 and 7, out the door by 7:30 and home ideally by 5:30 the latest. Then Charlee, Becca and I have a nice sit down dinner together, and I begin her bath routine. She’s fed, bathed and in bed by 7:30 the latest, and then Becca and I get a couple hours to catch up about our days, our plans, our house chores and whatever else before we both tap out realizing how exhausted we are.
We’re usually in bed by 9:30, anticipating waking up at least once overnight.
Becca’s day’s are exhausting. Her full time job is parenting a 6 month old! This means trying to keep her in a routine that ensures she eats enough while trying new foods, sleeps properly, gets the right amount of stimulation and socialization, all while keeping the house in order in terms of laundry, cleaning, dishes, dinners, etc.
Every day we try and keep a routine because we’ve been advised that consistency is key. At the same time we’ve heard the saying ‘have baby, will travel’, eluding to some parents perspective of trying to keep schedules loose so that you can have more flex in their day.
I’m pretty convinced that regimented scheduling is a first time parent move and later if/when we have baby number 2, it’ll be for the most part out the window, while we try and manage two very distinct children and their relative scheduling needs.
So yeah, you’ll never sleep the same again, but if you’re lucky, you may still get some sleep – a lot of it comes back to you and your approach.
You’ll often feel at a loss
Life is full of firsts.
Many of these firsts are fairly short. They happen, you learn, and you move on with your life.
With a newborn, there are many firsts. MANY MANY MANY firsts.
And they come at you one after the other, after the other, like clowns emerging from the most ridiculous clown car you could ever imagine.
Holding a newborn. Changing a diaper. Interpreting cries. Feeding. Prepping bottles. Figuring out sleep routines. And so on, and so on.
What about the conversations you have… some of which turn into arguments! After all, it’s a first for both of you potentially!
The worst thing? For the most part, there is no one single correct answer to any of it!
I’m a very finite guy. I like for there to be a common solution to a common problem.
As I’ve mentioned in earlier posts, there is just no single right answer to solve everything. There are way to many variables at play with parenting, that even the greatest of google searches will never find the one right answer.
I have often felt totally lost. It can be frustrating and put a huge strain on you and your relationship while you try and navigate your way through sleep regressions and 2 AM wailings.
But man is it ever worth it – let’s chat about the good!
Ben + Becca = Charlee
I’m a huge fan of Becca.
I’m a pretty big fan of myself. God that sounds arrogant, but c’mon, if you don’t love yourself, you’ve gotta work through that.
So put a splash of Becca with a dash of Ben together and you get, what in my eyes, is the most perfect creation this planet has ever seen – Charlee!
The crazy thing is that aside from how visually perfect Charlee is in my eyes, it’s only recently that I’ve gotten to actually know her.
Let me explain.
From birth to 3 months, Charlee was a gorgeous, little, wrinkly, bald, leaky, sometimes stinky, giggly, cooing ball of wonder. I was gobsmacked with what I was encountering on the daily and it was changing Becca and I throughout the journey.
At 4 months, just as we were getting in a groove, Charlee reverted back to being fussy and sleepless, and frustration was creeping in.
Two to three very long weeks later things changed. Dramatically.
Suddenly, there was something that transpired. Charlee was connecting. She knew us. She cared for us. She wanted to be close to us and be with us.
She reciprocates morning hugs.
She looks forward to bath time.
She sings songs with us.
She loves books.
She has a sense of humour; A great one in fact!
My heart aches when I’m not with Charlee and I know the same is true for her because the look on her face when I get home just melts me every time.
You often read that you will never feel love like the love you have for your child. It sounds so cliche, but it couldn’t be truer.
I’ve been told that the magic age is 5. Apparently from then till about 9 or 10 is the sweet spot, when your child idolizes you and you can do no wrong.
So far, 5 months was what has done it for me – this kid is my world and I can’t get enough of her.
Tomorrow I get to take Charlee for her first swimming lesson. While it will be my first time taking my daughter swimming, it will be Charlee’s first time in a bathing suit, in a pool, at the community centre, with new people, etc etc.
For all of the firsts we encounter, she is having her firsts in multiples!
I’m forever grateful and privileged to be able to be there for many of Charlee’s firsts and I can’t wait for more to come.