Daddy Diaries: Made it to Week 4!!!
I did it! I made it to the fourth week of paternity leave! More importantly, Bash made it as well. I would say I'm proud of myself, but I still have more than two months to go. Right about now I feel more confident than ever that we'll make it.
Week 2 wasn't so bad. Swedie's school schedule was kind to me that week. That may have been for the best since I almost lost him three days in. It was nice to spend time together when she had a day off or when she only went in for a few hours. It reminded me of when he was first born and we had those two weeks with him. Except now he has a personality. It's a different kind of magic. When he was first born it was wonderment that had us stare like crazy people at him. But he was BORING. Just lying there all helpless and poopy. Still somehow entertaining. Now Bash has so much personality! He likes to laugh and play. We had a lot of quality time together as a family during that week.
Week 3 was last week. It wasn't so bad. I had more time with Bash alone and the routine are starting to set in. I even notice that when we're all together in public, I'm now the safe zone. Oh yeah. Daddy's got you, Bash. It's been fun learning that little developing personality. He really loves to dance. Whenever he hears music, he breaks out the traditional baby dance.
So far I've noticed that he likes smooth rock music. He likes hard-hitting beats of Hip-Hop as well, but nothing moves Bash like Queen. He get's excited whenever a commercial comes on that has the song "Don't Stop Me Now" as the music. Sometimes he puts his hands on the table in a "twerk" motion. Good. He's probably got some rhythm. That's very important to Daddy. He also likes most TV show intro music. We noticed that he would stare at the TV when the Sons of Anarchy credits came on. He was even smaller back then, but that music would grab his attention. Eventually we stopped watching the show (it's just not that good) and noticed that he did the same for just about any show. We're now entrenched in The Wire and even though each season so far has a different theme song style (same lyrics), Bash just stares at the TV whenever the music comes on. Then when it's over he goes on about his baby business.
I've incorporated trips to Birgitta for Swedish lessons in our schedule. It's good for Bash, and perhaps better for me. Plus I get good food every time I go over there. You can't beat that! Even more of a plus of it all is Birgitta loves to sing songs out of nowhere. Bash's love of music goes perfect with Birgitta's love of singing. I used to never know what to do when Birgitta broke into a song that I don't know (and she knows EVERY song), but now I just look at Bash while he has a blast. He loves Birgitta. How could anyone not love Birgitta?
Bash also knows what "Ay Ay!" means (don't do that). But naturally, he seems not to care. Occasionally he repeats "Ay Ay!" back to me and continues doing what I don't want him to do. He looks me in the eye too. Completely disrespectful. The problem is, it's cute! I have to keep a straight face and explain to those cute little brown eyes that I am serious about him not opening that cabinet. It's harder than it sounds. Especially when he puts on that evil smile of his.
Week 4 has been another normal week. No babies left in fields. No swallowed pebbles. Just a series of regular, uneventful days. We take our walks, do our daily adventures and make sure to visit Birgitta.
Bash is starting to get into videos with baby songs. He used to ignore them whenever I played something, but now I noticed that it gets his attention. The videos have all of the popular kids songs from when I was little. "Old McDonald", "Twinkle, Twinkle...", "5 Little Monkeys", etc. I didn't realize how many of those songs I remember, but I remember mostly all of them. I think the videos are made by a British company (it's called "Little Baby Bum") so there are some songs I don't know and the accent is obviously different, but it's all nostalgic for me.
I made a rule for myself not to let the videos "babysit" Bash, so I don't show the series more than once a day. I do find it good for colors, memory and counting. I have noticed that a lot of these songs have the same melody. It's like they're recycling this stuff! Come on guys. Be more creative than that!
I've learned a bit about myself throughout this entire 11 months of fatherhood. There are so many things they don't tell you about. More than just the black tar poop or the wrinkly alien skin or the wild eyes that I was surprised about. They don't tell you that as a new parent you get the awful ability to play out the most horrible situation possible in your mind.
Sometimes I'm walking with him in my arms and I come close to a wall. I obviously avoid the wall, but not before I envision what would happen if I did bump his head into the wall. My brain carries out the entire bloody scenario. Then I shiver and shake off those horrible images because it didn't happen. Every escalator ride I take with him involves me imagining what would happen if I somehow accidentally dropped him. It's so disturbing! Then I hold him closer to me and shiver the images away. I told Swedie about these gruesome images and she told me that she has them too. So how come nobody told me that being a parent would turn me into a psychopath? That was kind of need to know information. Now I'm stuck with the worst images imaginable running through my head every day.
Bash loves to go through the dish drawer. We noticed that and took all of the "dangerous" items out of the drawer. Now there are only large spoons and mallets and garlic presses and whatnot. He plays with those and pots and pans because... well, because he doesn't spend his hard earned money on toys for himself. And even though I know he is unlikely to hurt himself with the drawer dishes, I still imagine - and play out - HORRIBLE images of the worst likely scenario. Sadly, I don't think this will ever go away. If you're reading this and are thinking about having your first child, just know that you will become capable of thinking of very terrible things happening to that child. Horrible thoughts will enter your brain EVERY SINGLE DAY for at least the first 11 months. And somehow it's well worth it. Until next time...