Friday, June 4, 2010

the first six months (or, how to go from 0 to 1000 mph )

this week emmi is exactly six months old. when i think back to the days before she was born, i had this feeling of 'we're almost through this...' boy is that the wrong way to think. for a guy, the pregnancy is the easy part: be nice, get stuff for her, rub her feet, and don't do anything to piss her off that much. once the baby is born, after the initial excitement, you realize that this little creature has to literally learn everything, and it starts to sink in that this is really only the beginning. this prehistoric protector archetype starts to kick in, and all of a sudden you think you have to be some weird combination of superman, jesus, the dalai lama, and groucho marx. but there really is nothing that can prepare you for fatherhood. everything is learning on the fly, and even the best advice you may get from others may not work. i've found the best thing to do is do it your way while limiting your major mistakes.

that all being said, i do wish someone could have told me about a few things.

for instance, i wish someone would have told me that newborns, for the first 2 days or so, shit something akin to road tar. i could re-patch the driveway with the thick black sticky shit that was coming out of my daughter. another thing that would have been useful: after this road tar stage, someone could have told me that a babies' poop is rather explosive. i swear i almost hit the roof when an explosion the size of an m80 came out of her butt while changing her diaper. in fact, if it hadn't have just happened to me, i would have been quite impressed.

another thing that you learn: babies are easily amused. this is a really good thing. sometimes all it takes is a goofy face and the baby is amused for a while. forget toys, grab that burp cloth next to the bottle and play with that!

i wish someone would have told me that baby fingernails grow back really effin' fast. if i clip her nails on sunday, she's got a fully grown cocaine pinky nail again on tuesday. and clipping newborn nails is one of the most nervewracking undertakings you can try. one wrong move and you can seemingly chop off a fingertip. no pressure there at all.

so the most important lesson i've learned so far? it's a constant learning process. you learn a lot of stuff through good old trial and error. that and take a nap when you can.

happy 6 months, beautiful baby!

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