Saturday, November 22, 2008

Joys of Fatherhood

The other day I said something that might have (accidentally) been wise. When asked about parenting, I said, "It's worse than you think, and better than you can imagine." Said with a wry smirk, it was meant to be reassuring. Or something . One of my old karate teachers said something like, "it's the worst nightmare you'll ever love." I've noticed that most people don't say 100% positive things about being a parent (or even 80% positive). It's like a common ground of ... I hesitate to say 'suffering'... but it sure ain't easy. When my wife and I announced we were expecting, all the parents began treating us like we had joined a secret society.

And we know, all too well, this is still the easy part. She's not even walking yet, let alone demanding toys and clothes, dating, driving .... EEKKKK!!!!!!

So our Ten-month old, who until about 4 weeks ago slept soundly through the night (a rare gift!) has started having trouble sleeping if we're not in the room with her. She'll wake, up, see we're not there, and freak out. Usually at around midnight, when our real good deep sleep is starting. So for a few weeks we've been up a lot and we're not used to it.

Not to bitch and moan, but it is irritating. :-) We've tried taking her for drives, and the Italian classic, feeding her.

Recently, say, the past 2 weeks or so, we figured out it's time to Ferberize the baby. Everyone I know agrees, this sucks in the short term, but is better in the long run as the baby learns that you aren't disappearing forever when they don't see you every second of the day and night, and it's the first step for them to learn independence. Or something.
By "everyone" I mean all the other parents I know, and our pediatrician. And all the parenting books and magazines we've read. It's like the album says, 50,000,000 Elivs fans can't be wrong.

But this is small comfort when she's wailing and screaming like she's being boiled at 2 am. We've found it helps to watch TV because it provides real, clear proof that only minutes have elapsed, not hours. It always feels like weeks, not seconds, listening to your baby cry.

edit: What kind of daddy am I? Here's a few pix... in a fun format

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