Bullet Point Blog from the First Two Months of Parenthood

Here are some things I’ve learned in the first two months of parenthood. These are listed in no particular order, except for the #1, because it belongs at the top of the list:

  1. Julie is amazing. We decided to have Cooper, and bringing him into the world was no easy feat. It took a lot of hard work and dedication on her part to make that happen. I was there, but she was carrying the baby. Now that Cooper is here, the physical and mental demands on her are even more apparent, and while it’s not easy, she’s mustered the courage to take it all on, and it makes me proud and happy to know Cooper has such a great mom.
  2. Having a contiguous thought for more than 10 minutes is a real challenge these days. Hence the bullet points. I took a little more than two months off work for the arrival of Cooper, and I had all of these grandiose ideas of how I would spend my time. I thought for sure I’d be blogging like a maniac. Twitter is much more conducive to the parenthood experience so far. The block of time necessary to write a paragraph is hard, but for a sentence or two, not so bad.
  3. The days are long, the months are short. Lack of sleep and constant attention for the Little Man make the days seem long. Watching his behavior and physicality change so quickly, however, makes me very aware that the newborn Cooper I knew a month and a half ago is gone, and never going to return. It was great to know that 2 week old little Little Man, and I miss him, but now I have had the pleasure of knowing several other versions of the Little Man since then, and I’ve loved them all just as much or more.
  4. There is no right way to do anything. All one can do is to survey all the right and wrong ways that others have done, and based on one’s intuition, try to pick the least wrong and most right among them.
  5. I can function fairly well on not much sleep for an extended period of time. Getting 3 hours straight is good, and I think the all-time high has been around 6 or so between feedings. I always wondered how medical personnel do it, like the residents who work 36 hour shifts and the like. Now I know.
  6. I can go from feeling extreme disappointment and dread to knee melting love and adoration in no time flat. When I’ve just gotten him to sleep, and done what I need to do to get the house in order to get my head on the pillow, and he starts to cry, that’s a pretty low moment. Seconds later, when I am holding his little head in my hand with him close to my chest and his sniffles start to stop, I can’t believe how lucky I am (admittedly, sometimes more than others).
  7. Mini vans really do rock.
  8. We’re really lucky. We had a rocky start with the NICU and everything, but since then, Cooper’s proven to be a pretty easy going and normal healthy baby. I feel blessed, and hope he keeps on that track!
  9. There are many kid people out there. This is most apparent at the mall when one is there with a stroller. Some people will sprint far out of their way to get the door, then will greet me with a wide smile and ask about how old, what gender, if he sleeps through the night etc. These people will usually want to smile and stare at the baby for as long as I can stand it before I feel I need to go. Sometimes it’s welcome, sometimes it’s a little weird, but I always appreciate it.
  10. There are many non-kid people out there. These people vary in their non-kidness magnitude. Some regard at Cooper and see an obstacle to get in front of before “it” slows them down on their sidewalk journey, or they might be offended by the time it takes to change him when they are behind me in the lineup to use a change table equipped washroom . For others, it’s more pronounced. I can see that when they look at Cooper, there is some part of them feels the same way a soldier might when they first notice an enemy grenade tossed into the bunker. They want to get away fast, before “it” does something unpredictable, and would prefer not to be in the same 20 foot radius as him. Fair ‘nuff, I guess, but I think they forget they were once no bigger than he.
  11. Kids, or infants at least, aren’t that expensive to maintain. They don’t even really take up much space. The big commitment is time and sleep.
  12. Life would be simpler if Cooper’s grandparents lived in the same city as us. We’re lucky though – they are motivated to visit and have the means. this is the next best thing.
  13. Acquiring a deep freeze has turned out to be a very, very good idea.
  14. I thought I’d be grossed out by dealing with diapers all the time. I am totally used to it now. Poop shmoop.
  15. Everything changes. The things I liked to do and the ways I identified myself in the world pre-Cooper are mostly gone now. I have whole new set of things I like to do now, and a whole new way to identify myself in the world. I miss some of those things from before, but on the whole, it’s a very good change. Thanks Patrick and Cris, who both pointed this out to me before he was born.
  16. Everything I thought would be terrible, isn’t as bad as I thought it would be, and everything I thought would be great, is even better than I thought it would be. Thanks Robert, for pointing that out to me before he was born. It’s entirely true.