Having a child is a lot like skiing. Everyone has an opinion. Sometimes you get wet and feel like crying. But most will tell you the experience improves over time if you show patience.
Before Luca was born we read magazines and listened to advice from doctors and friends. We even went down the “must have” list that Babys “R” Us gave us. As luck would have it, every item on the list was available at Babys “R” Us! Imagine that.
I suspect there’s some psychology at work here on new parents. Having a list to check off provides a comfort during a stressful and confusing time. By the time Luca was born we’d finished off most of the list including the expensive digital thermometer which we later found out shouldn’t be used on babies.
Although we had no idea what we were doing we could solace in the fact we’d gathered dozens of items our newborn could not care less about. I lost count the number of times I was told how to use a car seat. Their insistence told me they assumed I was planning to drive around the streets of Seattle with one arm on the wheel and the other holding our baby out the window.
I tried my best to contribute and do whatever a new father is supposed to do. I was a mix of my own father on good days. And Al Bundy on bad days.
As far as I could tell my only two jobs were to empty the diaper genie and keep foreign objects out of Luca’s mouth. Loosely translated, that required keeping our dog’s chew toys away from our baby. Every item the baby came in contact with had to be clean. Like the bubble boy without the bubble.
I didn’t realize how much things had changed between the time Luca was born till today. Nearly 7 years has passed, and our fourth child, Kai, is almost 18 months old. This week Kai decided to put his face in our dog’s water bowl. Had Luca done that same, we would have been on the phone with a doctor asking if we should bring her in for a tetanus shot.
But we’ve changed. And I didn’t realize how much until I realized that instead of pulling Kai away from the water bowl, Kim grabbed the Flip Mino to capture his antics on video.
But don’t worry. There’s no need to notify family services.
Because he wasn’t able to down more than a few pieces of dog food before we grabbed him.