It really boggles my mind that our daughter is seven weeks old already...it boggles my mind even more that I'm a father. I mean come on, have you met me or read the first paragraph? But you know what? I'm loving it. Every day with little J is an adventure and I can honestly say it's never boring. It's so much fun seeing how much she changes and how much her personality becomes apparent as each day passes. I can tell already this little girl is going to be trouble when she gets older.
She made us wait for her awesomeness though; there was a point where we weren't sure she was ever going to come out. We tried everything to cajole her to come out and by everything I mean anything that involved eating. I think that's where we went wrong because after our due date passed we decided to take advantage of the extra time and do date nights. We went out for spicy food twice after a number of people told us that was a reliable way to naturally induce. It didn't work. If anything it made her want to stay in there longer because she was enjoying all the food we were eating. After a while it was decided she either had to come out or start paying rent. Since she didn't have any monetary assets, as far as we could tell, she was evicted but not without putting up a fight first. After over 25 hours our little gigantor was born.
I won't lie to you, a lot of what you read about having a newborn makes it sound magical and easy but it isn't. Sure there's the lack of sleep that everyone talk about but that's not all. Don't get me wrong it's an amazing time that I will always cherish but it's hard. As hard as it might be for me I'm not the one that has to provide food for the little one and this kid likes to eat. If it wasn't for our friend Matthew Amster-Burton's book Hungry Monkey this whole child rearing thing would have been one big failed experiment and we'd be trying to trade the baby in for something easier to handle...like a unicycle with a flat tire.* So if you have a baby or are expecting a baby get his book. The first chapter on breastfeeding is worth the cost of the book because he tells you how hard breastfeeding really is in the beginning.
[* I don't actually condone trading your children for money or goods and we never considered giving our baby away to the gypsies. Of course that's not what we're going to tell her when she's being a pain in the ass as a teenager.]
As difficult as some of it has been we've been amazingly lucky to have such a wonderful support system made up of our friends here in Seattle and our families who took time out of their busy lives to come out and help. I gotta tell you, having friends that are chefs and amazing cooks come bring you food makes those sleepless nights a lot easier to take. It was also really nice having family stay with us when I went back to work. Knowing someone was at home making sure Kristen was being taken care of while she was busy with J made going back to work a little less painful. Of course it was, and is, still hard to have to leave Kristen and J in the morning. It seems like when I get home every evening J is so much bigger and much more active than when I left 11 hours earlier.
With all our family having gone home we're now on our own so it's up to us to figure out how to work, do laundry, wash the dishes, and occasionally pick up the house while wrangling a baby who doesn't really care what else we have to do. But it's okay because it's fun. Seriously. I know I said it's hard but it's the funnest hard thing you'll ever do. (Shut up Marc.) Plus, when else do you have the chance to laugh at someone else for having pooped all up their back?** Okay maybe college but chances are the person that does it in college is not nearly as cute as your baby and you definitely won't be offering to clean it up.
[** I told you I reserved the right to revisit this topic.]
P.S. Does anyone have tips for taming this kid's crazy hair?