My little Piper recently passed the 8-month mark with flying colors. She’s smiling and laughing a lot, sitting stably, scooting, kicking her legs trying to crawl (sorry for the low-friction hardwood floors, sweetie), chomping on anything she can get her hands on, and effortlessly endearing herself to her old man. As any parent will tell you, the first months are a whirlwind of joy, fear, pride, frustration, sleeplessness, and newfound levels of love and adoration.
A few specific observations from the first 8 months…
- Fatherhood is much easier than motherhood. It’s not even close.
- No matter how careful, methodical, and vigilant you are, you will slip up while changing a diaper — and you will get peed/pooped on.
- No one ever intends on poop taking over their conversation, but when your baby’s — and, by extension, your — daily happiness depends on it…
- Whenever I hold her close and sing to her while dancing, I think how soon it’ll be that we’ll be dancing on her wedding day. And how sad and wistful I’ll be on that day, thinking of these quiet moments alone with her.
- One of my favorite songs is the American Standard “Where or When”. I sang it to my wife when we were high school sweethearts. And I sing it to Piper as part of her bedtime routine. It’s a great lullaby, and I’ve come to appreciate a very different interpretation of the lyrics. I assume the lyrics mean a new love that’s so comfortable and familiar that it’s as if the two have met before. In my case, it’s like falling in love with my wife again. A different kind of love, to be sure, but so comfortable and familiar…
- Asians think she looks more like her (caucasian) mom and caucasians think she looks more like me.
- It really is amazing how much people love babies. Not just the strangers who walk up and tell you how cute she is, but also the ones who crane their necks just a little bit as you pass, with an adoring glance. A darling little hat helps.
- Almost every decision is a trade-off between short-term benefit and long-term benefit. Do we do what’s easiest now and pay the price of potentially bad habits later or do it the harder way now to instill better habits long-term?
- Moving away — and the inevitable heartbreak that accompanies it — start early. For weeks, she would only sleep on my wife or me (mostly my wife), even overnight. Then, she slept in a bassinet. A scant 5 feet from our bed, but sad nonetheless. The first night she slept in her own room, I was really blue. It was great not having to be totally silent all the time and it’s the right short-term/long-term trade-off, but very, very sad. Every step is a step away.
- It’s great that dads get to be the goofball. Making Piper laugh is one of the highlights of my day. Almost as good as getting a hug from her.
- I’m so much sappier now than I used to be. And I’ve always been pretty sappy.
- My wife is an amazing mother. She doesn’t think she is, but she is. Most amazing mothers probably don’t think they’re amazing.
- Quite often during the course of a day, I’ll smell something that reminds me of her. I love when that happens.