I haven't written a blog about Isaiah Jedi Smith since the second week he was born. Now, with time passed and eleven weeks experience as a father, it makes a little more sense. No one wants to read about the daily minutiae of parenthood. Even as a new father, I don't want to write or read about it. "Today my kid did this." "Praise me! This is what I made us for lunch." "You'll never guess what my kid did today. Here's proof in a video I'll be putting on #youtube in a few minutes." It's really annoying. My wife and I have been trying to avoid that kind of thing, except for sending pictures and videos to Isaiah's grandmothers. Grandmas don't get tired of that stuff. In fact, if you don't, you'll get a phone call or text reminding you to. Especially if you're a stay at home dad. (Mom's and grandma's don't care if you're a father. Their baby or grandbaby are at stake.) Personally, I appreciate it. #StayAtHomeDads and #StayAtHomeMoms need reminders that they aren't alone in the universe. Seriously. Call us.
Two things happened this week that reminded me that I can't just waste internet space talking about television. I gotta write about this kid. Because you know, we might run out of internet space. Outline-style I'll tell you the good news, followed by the bad news. Then I'll elaborate on cool stuff about my little #Padawan. Then I'll connect everything together, and conclude with something that makes you smile, and possibly bring a tear to your eye.
One of my good friends had a baby this week. They made a gorgeous, little, partial-Puerto-Rican baby, that took forever coming out of his mommy's belly. He likes his new environment, I'm sure. He's got amazing parents that love him. He's got family that probably wants to steal him, and friends that would readily volunteer to help him not be a Cubs fan. This little boy, is going to have an awesome support structure for growing up. (I volunteer to help him not be a Cubs fan.) I can't reiterate how excited I am for baby, Mommy and Daddy. Well done.
Warning This is very sad, but it reminded me why I need to write about my kid. Feel free to skip it. I'd skip it if I didn't think it was relevant to this post.
Earlier this week a clearly long-past-stable pregnant woman tried to drive into the Atlantic Ocean at Daytona Beach with her other three children in the car. Thankfully, good Samaritans charged the beach and pulled everyone out of the car and no one was seriously injured.
Clearly, she was mentally ill. But as a new parent, is still scares me. I've been scared about hurting my boy since before he was born. What if I drop him? What if I'm rushing through the house with him in my arms and smack his head on a door frame? What if Wife isn't home and I don't know what to do if he stops breathing? What if he cries, and somehow, I go nuts like this Florida woman and want to drive into the lake? It's absolutely terrifying. Most of it's gone now, in week eleven. But what if I make a simple, honest mistake, and it hurts my little Jedi? These are the things that cross my mind watching a news report like this.
Rational or not, these are the things that go through my head as a new father. What if I get through all of the infancy stages, and just raise a complete asshole? Wife tells me I'm a good father and I'll only get better, but my subconscious doesn't give a rats piss for her positivity.
I feel better now, having thought about the last eleven weeks as a new parent, and the last three weeks staying at home with my boy. So here's what I've learned in eleven weeks as a father, and three weeks as a #stayathomedad.
At eleven weeks he can be a real pain in the ass. I don't know why I'm surprised. First, he's going through major developmental changes at eleven weeks, more than any he's gone through yet. Second, he's my son. Of course he's going to be difficult. I've also read/heard that parents pray that their kids have kids that end up just like them. To my Mom and Dad, wish granted.
I've learned to changed diapers with my guard up. He may piss, or poo at any point, but he's not catching me by surprise. Extra diapers, wipes, and clothing for he and I both are at hand ALWAYS.
I talk in my sleep. God was funny for this one. My wife snores, my baby snores, and my dog sleeps in our bed trying to run and whine in her sleep. I have a chorus of noise in my bed.
This past Tuesday Isaiah and I had our worst day ever. He was fed, changed, and super tired, but didn't want to take naps all day. He knows his Papa's voice, and face. Why would he want to close his eyes and sleep if he could whine and get to #shadowbox with his Dad? I get it, personally. But I wanted to claw my eyes out.
Neutrally, he has a great sense of humor. Today Wife said she was going to do something in the kitchen quickly, and then grab him on her way back. As she walked past him, a little plastic wire ball bounced out of his swing, in her direction. "I don't think he liked what you said, babe." She also asked him tonight if he wanted to feed, or if he just wanted the pacey. Pacey mysteriously bounced about five feet across the room. #NoJoke, I swear it was that immediate. That's definitely my kid. Oh, and Pacey is how I abbreviate 'pacifier'.
Here's what makes it all worth it by about a million.
Today he propped his bottle up in his mouth because he thought I might be taking it away. He also does that for his pacey.
When he hears our voices or sees our faces he immediately looks for us and starts smiling. He also does that when he sees his own reflection. My son is vain.
He mimics our behavior. If I tell him to put his "hands up", they stay there. Because "All we do is win, win, win, no matter what!". And if Wife sticks out her tongue out at him, he'll stick his out and then giggles hysterically. I'm also, pretty sure he tried to wave at me this week.
(I just played #DJKahled while I'm writing this, and he started talking from his crib, in his sleep. Honestly.)
He loves to #ShadowBox with his #Papa. If he's fussing about something, it instantly stops when I help him throw a left jab, left jab, right hook. Instant smiles. His favorite is when he's got the guy on the ropes and can throw multiple upper cuts, followed by a multiple hooks. That's his favorite #knockout move.
These last couple go as favorites for me and a negative for Mom. I'm at home with him all day every day. She's at work. As a result, I get to see his "first time things" and his new development things.
Today he held his bottle in place for about 20 seconds for the first time. (He didn't really hold it, but propped it up enough so he could eat.)
I know that if you give him the pacey when he's tired, you can rub him from his forehead to the tip of his nose with a finger, and he'll close his eyes and want to go to sleep.
Turn off his swing when he falls asleep, and he'll sleep longer than if it's swinging.
It's a lot of simple, stupid stuff like that I could have learned if I had read as many books as Wife did earlier. But I didn't. I'm learning on the fly and I'm trusting in her help, God, and my natural instinct.
My point is that these little human beings, made from your DNA, don't come with instructions. I've read that in every single book I had to read. Some things will come naturally. I haven't worried about dropping Isaiah since the first time I held him in my arms. Some things you'll have to learn. "When does he need food or sleep, and why won't he shut up??!!" And some things you just have to pray that you'll figure out down the road. "I hope his first words aren't 'Goddamn television, I hate you!'"
I'm doing my best. I have good support from Wife who's doing her best. Even the Grandparents don't know how this kid may be different from their experience, but they're doing their best. We're all doing our best, and praying that he'll be the best.
P.S You all better be doing your best, too. My best feels like inadequate rubbish.