New Dad at Eight Months

Dad getting up with baby in the middle of the night

More months have passed than I had hoped to report on the adventures of being a new dad. My son is now eight and a half months old and I will talk about what has been happening for about the last month I assume. It’s funny that as fast as reality changes, old realities become distant memories. It’s difficult to remember my son when he wasn’t forming any syllables, holding his own bottle, and laughing at almost everything I do. I love getting a reaction out of him. I have him trained now that when he thinks I’m about to tickle him, he starts screaming. It’s really funny because it is like clockwork. I make a quick move towards his ribs and he thinks he knows what’s coming and screams accordingly. A happy scared scream, that is.

I think he actually has me more figured out than I have him. I am still trying to find the secret formula to get him to sleep through the night. I often think I have a new plan that will keep him satisfied and asleep, but it never works. Either my wife or I are waking up with him to rewrap him in his blanket or feed him at night. If I haven’t mentioned before that I can be kind of a bear at night when woken up, then now is the time to admit my level of irrationality in the middle of the night. I sometimes think that I could maybe get him to stop crying before I will feed him because he gets so worked up. He wins. There is only so much I can take before I just give him what he wants. At 8 months old, he isn’t as open to logic and rationality as I might hope for by this point.

But he has the beginning of a tooth!

My wife and I have been waiting for a while to see something poke through his gums and we finally have. If I thought he was irrational before, I think I am in for a treat. Now he’s not only in charge, he doesn’t even know what he wants. Like a crazy dictator!

Now let’s talk about sleep again. I used to take a full night’s sleep for granted. Even when my son was born through the first 6 months or so, sleepless nights seemed expected. At 8 months old my expectations were that he would be sleeping through the night by now. With that not being the case, my appreciation for little things in life continues to grow. It’s a good thing. I am grateful that sleeping continuously from midnight to 9:00 AM on a Sunday morning means so much to me. I want to enjoy little things more and having a baby gives a man so many opportunities.

The joy that my son brings though is the biggest “little” thing I’ve learned to enjoy. I get home from work and always enjoy the way he smiles at me as if acknowledging that he’s happy I’m home. My other kids often do the same only their smile is in the form of seeing how much weight I can have thrown at me as I walk up the stairs. I usually cannot even hit the couch before they have a request they’ve been waiting for hours to ask. My wife reminds them often that their chances are better for me to say yes when they give me more time to settle in. I often say no because I really need some time to wind down after work, but it is fun that they ask.

So what is 8 months? It’s appreciating that you still don’t get as much sleep as you want and watching the little one really start to blossom. It’s beginning to chase your son or daughter around the house. There isn’t much cuter than them kicking it in high gear, scurrying across the floor when they realize you are about to stop their current pursuit of the curtains. Or the TV. Or the outlets. Or the crumb you just dropped. Or the ball of yarn. Or the scissors. It’s enjoying all of that.

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