The last time I wrote about my plight of being a new dad, mythical wife and I were staying overnight at the NICU as the last milestone necessary in order for our kid to come home. That being said, baby is now home where she belongs, and thus begins (really) the rest of our lives, and the start of our lives as a family unit.
Honestly, it hasn’t been as tragically difficult as people love to expound that new parenthood really is. Sure, we’re operating on the NICU’s general schedule of feeding every three hours, so that our premature child can gain weight as efficiently as possible, but I imagine this is something that my body will get used to as time progresses, not to mention the fact that as baby grows and develops, she won’t need to be on this kind of timeline forever either.
So mythical wife and I get up at 2:30 and 5:30 in the morning each night to feed our baby, and slog our way through the motions in the AM hours. I get up at around 7:45 to make sure that I’m logged into work on time, but then I go ahead and take care of the feedings at 8:30 and 11:30, while I frantically do my best to do work-related things in between. Yes, I am still working from home, and it is truly an unprecedented brave new world we’re all operating in these days, and I often have anxious thoughts about the future of my own career, as I wonder if the longer all of this goes on, the more expendable my team’s work will become perceived.
Work aside, being a dad is pretty great. I don’t mind the dirty diapers and the demanding schedule, because I have a beautiful daughter that I enjoy just sitting and watching sometimes, wondering how her features are going to grow in, and despite the fact that she had more of my features at birth, I can see glimpses of lighter brown hair, and there’s no mistaking the large eyes she sprouts whenever they open up, that definitely come from mommy and not from me.
I love changing her outfits and seeing her in the large varieties of adorable baby clothing that we’ve purchased in advance as well as inherited from the generations of cousins ahead of me. I’ve been peed on and I’ve witnessed various catastrophes of soiled diapers, but they’re no big deal at all. I refuse to be a stereotypical dad that can’t handle changing diapers or think I’m too macho or manly to do things that people tend to associate as being “mom work.”
In fact, it kind of makes me a little sad whenever people have given me praise over my indifference and enthusiasm for doing things like changing diapers or bathing my kid. It speaks volumes of the amount of men out there that don’t do the littlest things that instill love and affection for their children, and if there’s one thing that I want to accomplish as a dad, it’s that my kid grows up knowing that I love her more than anything, from the big things to the little ones.
Eventually, we’ll hopefully get to a comfortable rhythm as it comes to living with a child in tow now. As much as I want to use this additional time at home to catch up on cleaning and making the house as great as possible for our kid, or I want to be a lazy slug and watch television and movies in between feedings, I just don’t feel like I ever have the time. Three hours sounds like a lot of time, but given how much of it I spend cleaning bottles or pump parts or straightening things out for the next feeding/changing session, then I feel like I don’t have enough contiguous time to do anything productive or enjoyable, so I usually dick around on my phone or watch YouTube videos instead.
In the world outside our own, coronavirus is still running roughshod all across America. At the time I’m writing this, the United States has long past taken the “lead” as it comes to being the country that’s worst hit by the pandemic, with the most amounts of people afflicted and most amount of people who have died from it. Meanwhile, Italy is mostly on the mend in spite of their laughable lack of preparations for it, China, where the disease originated has slowly begun to get better, and South Korea leads the world when it comes to testing being done within the country in order to best contain and combat it better than anyone else.
In spite of the global concerns over bringing a life into the world in the midst of a pandemic, ironically, our baby couldn’t have come and left the hospital at a better time. Had she been born a mere three days later, then only parents would have been the only ones allowed to see her, or any other baby, and the hospital put the clamps down in terms of screening in order to get in, and even I had to recuse myself for a week while I was feeling under the weather. But because of the timing in which she was born, she’s was at least been able to be visited by grandma and grandpa on her mother’s side.
My parents however, are now up in the air in light of current events. As much as I want to fly my mom down to visit, I don’t want to put her in the scenario of having to travel through airports around a bunch of people I don’t trust to be good about social distancing, and put her into a sardine can with wings full of people who probably would be carrying. As for my sister and dad, they were tentatively going to be coming down for Memorial Day, but who really knows what the world is going to be like then? Given the fact that some states have outright cancelled the rest of school for the year, there’s obviously going to be a ripple effect on how it affects everything else, from travel, commerce to tourism.
Anyway, I need to get to a point where I allow myself to write less, if it means writing more frequently. Not everything I write needs to be a verbose novel, and there was once a time in which I declared “blurbs,” when in the manner of a brog, probably were more appropriate short and sweet posts to begin with.
But being a dad, yeah I’m digging it. I was nervous at the start, but now I know that I’m going to be loving this for the rest of our lives.