When I look back at the stupid things my dad did I felt very grandiose about the my abilities against the opposition’s. It took less than 48 hours for me to find out that the stupid things my dad did are nothing compared to the stupid things I’m about to do.
What I learned about being a father:
Today I learned that being a father is sort of an extension of my duties of being a husband (which I learned first hand after getting married that my duties as a husband were an extension of my duties as a boyfriend, which were not even close to my duties of being a single guy on my own with no thoughts of being daddy in sight). My wife, the mother of my child, has this new amazing ability to be more attentive to my actions on little to no sleep and take care of child’s every need at the sound of a peep, the smell of a dirty diaper, or the sixth sense that mama’s have if something is wrong with their baby. Without looking at me she knew right away (as if child was watching my every move and tattling on me) that I was doing something wrong. I was chastised from across the family suite when her back was turned to me for something I was about to do that I didn’t even know I was going to do. She caught me red handed about to wash a piece of her breast pump in cold water without the special soap that was sitting right next to the sink, changing the diaper wrong (again, I might add, after the nurse told me I so the first time), and not using the right amount of A&D cream on child’s privates after his circumcision (ouch!).
I, the every faithful, loving, caring, ever understanding, trying-to-be-perfect husband that I am, continued to be mystified by the nature of woman, wife, and mother, all wrapped into one perfect package. Their knowledge of our wrongdoings stems much further than just the bedroom, who’d have guessed?
What I think I know:
Even after a parenting class, reading daddy books, and listening to the stories of my male counterparts about what it takes to be daddy what I think I know is nothing could have completely prepared me for this. I changed dirty diapers with a smile on my face, because that’s what being daddy is all about, but getting it wrong made me feel less of a man, and changed my attitude for the rest of the day.
Being daddy is more about not trying to take the role as mother, rather it’s doing things for mother and baby that we can do best. I thought I knew how to change a diaper and do the little things to make life easier on mama. But what I think I know now is that being daddy is a lot more about doing the things daddies are good at.
Today, our first day home since Griffin was born, bad attitude and all, I sucked up my pride and went back to my duties as husband, expanded on those by helping with nursing in the small ways that I could. With mama’s direction I made a small impact in my baby boys life, did the laundry, went grocery shopping, watched Grif while mama took a break, and assisted in nursing by pulling his little tiny lips down to catch a good latch on mama’s breast. All in all it was a great day being daddy and I learned that the stupid things daddies do are not all that makes us daddy.