About a year ago, I wrote a piece called 31 Discoveries of a First Time Father. It was my observations after having 31 days of fatherly experience under my belt. Last week, kiddo turned 18 months old and I thought I would give an update to that post.
Here are my observations:
1. We’re still in charge of this little human being and it’s still a huge responsibility. I wonder when this changes. Maybe when he’s 18? Maybe never?
2. The two hour night shifts are long gone. He still gets up in the middle of the night, but after giving him a bottle of milk, he calmly goes back to sleep in his crib.
3. But don’t take sleep for granted. Take the extra hour of sleep when you can.
4. The wife really did go through a lot, but there’s a lot of reward for her. Kiddo is calmest when he is with her. There aren’t many times he sits on my lap quiet and still, on her he’ll do that and even give her a hug.
5. Going out seems easier. This is one of the biggest changes. Maybe we’re more experienced? Or did the kiddo calm down? We still bring a crapload of stuff like diapers, water, milk, baby wipes, a stroller, etc. But for some reason everything seems lighter.
6. Not everyone is going to agree with me, but when we need to rest we put a screen in front of him. Over time, we found that he’s learned a few words from his shows as well. Personally, I think it’s a win-win situation. We rest, he learns.
7. At least we think he learns. It’s possible that we’ve tricked ourselves into thinking he is saying real words.
“OMG he said Bird! He’s a genius.”
8. The days go by fast. Kiddo started walking on the evening of Halloween. At first, he lacked the confidence to go all out and had to be nudged to walk. Now, he runs everywhere!
9. Kiddo runs E V E R Y W H E R E. The other night while everyone was sitting down enjoying the dinner conversation, I was stuck following him around making sure he wouldn’t ram into furniture.
10. He still tests my patience. Why is it so hard to sit down and enjoy a nice quiet dinner in the restaurant? Does he really need to run around like a drunken robot?
11. I still thank God for relatives who want to hold him.
12. A dependable yaya is still a Godsend. But we try not to depend on her too much. During weekends, if we can avoid it, the yaya stays home, while we bring him out. It’s good training for us. Salute to all the parents without a yaya.
13. Kiddo is at an age when he can genuinely have fun. When we’re hanging out, I try to make him laugh, wrestling him to the ground, tickling his ribs, dribbling his tiny basketball. Those tiny laughs are getting louder.
14. His needs have expanded exponentially. He developed a technique to let us know what he wants by pointing and shouting, “Baaaawwwllll! Baaaawwwllll!”
15. There are days when the wife and I have our challenges, but it’s all a good healthy part of marriage. We like to call it friendly arguments. Just stay grateful. And communicate.
16. As mentioned, he laughs!!!! Not yet at jokes, but we’ll get there eventually.
17. The truth is I don’t know why he laughs. He’ll laugh at the most unfunny thing. Like a weird sound or an exaggerated move. But when he does, you can be sure we’ll repeat it till it loses its funny.
18. Call me a coward, but honestly, I’ve been avoiding the poop. Diaper changing duties have been delegated to Mommy and yaya. It really really stinks.
19. The wife still doesn’t have the same sense of humor as I do, but she’s coming around. She found this extremely funny.
20. Sometimes he wakes up with a giant smile on his face. Other times he wakes us by crying as loud as he can. He’s a person with his own ups and downs.
21. I’m projecting here but he seems to enjoy putting the basketball in a hoop. That’s all we did last night. Over and over and over again. Practice makes perfect? Future basketball star?
22. His Mommy will likely disagree with me, but he doesn’t seem small and fragile at all. He’s at an age when all I want to do is give him a hearty hug. Unfortunately, whenever I do, he squeals like a pig running away during Easter.
23. Our day to day schedule is still an outline, but thankfully, the kiddo seems to be much more receptive to what we want to do. One night we were invited to a dinner party, we didn’t think we were going to stay long because we brought him along. To our surprise, we were there till midnight because he was having fun playing with the older kids.
24. A few months back, we started letting him sleep in his crib. The first night was agony. He cried for almost two hours, but eventually he tired and started sleeping soundly. The next night was more of the same, but only cried for almost an hour. Since then, sleeping has gotten so much easier.
25. Movie night is a struggle. Putting the kiddo to sleep, having the energy to stay up another two hours, and possibly waking up tired can be challenging. But when it pushes through and it’s a good fun movie, celebration. Latest movie recommendation, Why Him?
26. There’s always that one person that can calm kiddo down. And that’s the wife.
27. He’s still not old enough to crash the pickup, but he is old enough to smash cellphones. The life expectancy of my stuff decreased by 25%.
28. Feeding him hasn’t been a problem. Way back, we started with this thing called Baby Weaning. You put food in front of the kiddo and he tries to eat it himself. The first few weeks were messy and funny, but over time, he developed the necessary coordination to eat his food.
29. I didn’t expect to be talking so much about the mundane parts of raising a kid. When did he poop? Did he take a nap? What time did he wake up? What time did he sleep? But we’ll cherish them anyway.
30. We still have no idea what we’re doing, but we’re doing our best.
31. Everything changed and continues to change. We’re expecting another little kiddo. Happy days.