Lessons from a nine month old

//Lessons from a nine month old

Lessons from a nine month old

Another three months behind us.

Danny is babbling more and more but no words yet. A few sounds are pretty similar to Dadda but I don’t mention this to momma:)

He is pulling himself up to stand but because he can’t get down we have witness a few head smashing falls – only tears, no blood yet. He is playful and silly like his mom and is definitely showing signs of a little personality.

He has continued to sleep through the night but the winter was a little shaky. A beautiful snowy Christmas turned out to be one Vancouver’s worst winters on record and it seemed to affect our whole family. I have been an early riser most of my life but I was struggling to get up this winter. It was probably a culmination of life’s stresses, low iron, sickness, reduced exercise, and a baby that seemed to cry out a few times a night. We have always let Danny self soothe at night by checking in on him every five minutes. For most of his short life this worked well but the poor little guy struggled the past couple months. Meesh still did a lion’s share of the night time work (and day time of course:) but it affected both of us. Most mornings Danny’s cries would wake me up. If you don’t like an alarm clock going off there is something very startling about a baby’s cry!

We seem to be coming out of this micro rut as winter turns to spring but it made me reflect on what I can do next year as the inevitable cold weather and snotty noses return.

  1. Let go of rhythm and habit. It is just too hard when your sleep is disrupted and your wake up time variable. I beat myself for not sticking to my routine and this was just stupid. Children change from week to week and day to day. I needed to let go and know that the routine would return in good time. No need trying to force it – just go with the flow. Slow is easy:)
  2. Know that your partner is even more tired than you.  Sleep deprivation and crying babies affect us in ways that seep into our unconscious. When your partner doesn’t seem to be acting like herself, support her, don’t get frustrated. This sounds easy but when the proverbial cup of life is overflowing your fuse shortens as well. By seeking first to understand and not sweating the small stuff it’s easier to let things slide and be the partner your mother would want you to be.
  3. Get really good at soaking in the small moments. Sick babies restrict how much and how far you go. You end up cancelling trips, having to say no to things you once said yes to, and seemingly run through days that could easily blend together due to lack of distinction. Mindfulness, presence, and meditation are all mainstream ideas of the 21st century western world. My exposure to these ideas has helped. I can’t say I was perfect but if you don’t appreciate the messy face, the cry from a fall, or the incremental advances that a baby makes you will suffocate as a hard working dad. It’s easy to lose sight of what an incredible miracle a baby really is. It’s those small moments, those seconds in time that create a fulfilling fatherhood. Stop, breathe, listen, and watch – those fleeting moments only come once so make sure you savour them.

Next time I write about Danny he will be one. I am sure I will have plenty to reflect upon then. Thanks for reading

Dave

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By | 2017-08-02T17:31:59+00:00 April 1st, 2017|My thoughts|0 Comments

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