When I restarted this blog I made a commitment to continue to keep sharing little parts of our lives. I’ve found tons of stories because, being a Catholic dad of two girls is quite a ride. So stick with me because there is a lot more to come. Yet this post starts off with why I’ve been a little quiet. We had a rough patch as a family.
Life isn’t always sunshine and roses. As every person in every walk of life knows, you have those rough spots on the journey. When you travel as much as I do it can create some very rough times alone. For our family August was a tough month. For me personally, it was even a touch tougher. (Don’t worry, this blog will pick up shortly.)
Near the top of that list the list that complied a rough August was fearing that although our 10 month old was always smiling when I was around, she wouldn’t cuddle and sleep in my arms. Ever, at all! I was beginning to develop a complex especially when I’m using the “late night mind” that you can get when sleep eludes you at night. I figured she was keeping her distance from me. I have to think that every father has thoughts like this.
Well, my wife got sick. Well, we all did. A cold shot through our home. It started with the 10 month old and did a full lap in our home. So the 10 month old was doing better when my wife was at her worst. She was so sick she couldn’t feed the 10 month old. That duty fell to me. Something I haven’t done much of in her life because my wife and I have avoided using formula. (Quick side note. I can’t put into words how much I’ve admired my wife carrying this work upon her shoulders for nearly 10 months.)
I have to admit, I was terrified. Only because I wasn’t sure if that little 10 month old would let me. She really fought most people that have tried to feed her. I watched several people actually give up trying to feed her with a bottle.
To this point I could carry our 10 month old…as long as I wasn’t sitting down. Standing/walking/dancing with her wasn’t a problem. Sit down and you can forget it. She would sprawl and try to stand up. She would fuss and start to cry. The only time she would settle in my arms is if she was really, really tired and would fall asleep. And only then would she relax. (Again, it gives a guy a complex.)
Allow me to set the stage. A Saturday afternoon and it’s nap time. My wife is sick and needs to sleep. Our 3 year old was getting ready for her afternoon nap. The 10 month old, she is hungry. Now a nervous daddy, adjusting to a sad event that happened to all of us (I’m sure I’ll post about that event in the future) and now it was time to step up to the plate and take care of our hungry 10 month old.
Make the bottle and warm it. I grab that beautiful bundle of hungry screaming unhappy baby and lean her back in my arms like I did hundreds of times before when our 3 year old was younger and tried to feed her. I didn’t sit down. I was going to walk with her. She had no interest. And I knew that for certain she had no interest in the bottle. Well, I knew she wasn’t happy and so did most of the neighborhood even though the windows were closed. Not only was she unhappy, she would stiffen up and make it tough to hold her. Sort of looking like a younger version of herself.
I didn’t want anyone in the house to wake up and have their nap disturbed. So we went outside. I opened the garage door grabbed a lawn chair and sat in the garage. I like to call that “redneck style” just sitting in the garage and watching the cars. I sat her on my lap.
She not only sat down on my lap. She stopped crying. She smiled! We had a nice daddy/daughter moment! I tried the next logical step.
I grabbed the bottle and as she sat up on my lap and watched the cars roll by she ate. Then SHE grabbed the bottle and stopped eating but only because she was smiling.
Personally I was in a rough spot and that moment was where that rough spot ended. I couldn’t have been more excited.
All it took was a 10 month old chomping on a bottle and smiling at me to turn my heart around.
I do want to end this post with a question and a comment to you. It feels weird always calling my daughters by their age (the 10 month old or the 3 year old) I’m going to start using names. But not their names. I want to ask you if you have any suggestions for names based upon what you have taken the time to read?
And the comment. Actually, feel free to comment on the page at any time. I welcome your thoughts and input on this blog. What would keep you coming back? Anything in particular? Share away!