Dad Blog: Small Victories

Having a baby is all about the small victories. I think these small victories link up into a chain that forms a walking talking person who votes and secretly likes bad music. We’ve watched Del form several of those links in the five months he’s been here.

Side note: time post-baby turns into a strange taffy-like substance. He’s been alive five months. That is a very short amount of time, but it feels like he was born when I was in my 20s and I’ve watched him become a completely different person in those five months. I feel like five seasons have come and gone in that time. This could all also be due to the Trump administration, not sure about that yet.

Anyway, when we first brought him home and the doctor told us to start working on tummy time with him after his umbilical stump came off (he had a stump! I forgot about that! That was back when Truman was president!), we’d put him on his little play mat on his belly and watch the epic struggle that ensued as he tried to turn his head from one cheek on the floor to the other. He couldn’t stand it and we knew we were supposed to build up to 30 minutes of this a day. How in the world would that happen?

Well, here we are:

But those head-turns were epic achievements! Same too when we first saw his eyes track an object we were moving in front of him. For days (weeks? who knows) he just blankly ogled everything around him, swimming in some weird visual soup. Then slowly it became clear that he was looking at something specific, and he gained the ability to follow that thing. He was seeing the world!

Another victory: sleeping. One night he just slept for eight hours straight. It happened too early and it didn’t stick at the time, but it was the first night in which we glimpsed a future that contained something resembling normal sleep. We didn’t sleep at all that night. constantly popping up in bed to make sure he was OK, but it was a solid proof of concept. It was also a banner day when he took a nap somewhere other than our chests. I loved having him sleep on me, and I certainly miss parts of it now, but spending 15 hours a day under a baby between the two of us (moreso for Amy since she was feeding him of course) takes a toll. We had this lovely swing sitting in a nook in our apartment just waiting to wrap him up in its sleepy arms, but noooo. Put him in that thing and he’d lift the roof with his cries. “The swing’s a lifesaver,” people had told us. “Gotta get the swing, top priority,” they said. They seemed so wrong and we didn’t know what we would do. Then, one day, almost on a whim, I decided to give it another shot. He had gotten drowsy on me so I transferred him into the swing, buckled him in, started it rocking and…he slept! For an hour! We didn’t know what to do with ourselves. So much time for activities! I think we spent the whole time talking about how free we felt and never got around to actually doing anything. But a window had opened!

Right now he’s on the verge of crawling. He’s gotten far too wiggly to leave anywhere but the crib, the floor, or maaaaybe our bed if he’s right in the middle of it and I keep sharp tabs on him. Today he was in his crib while I did some dishes, and while doing them I poked my head around the corner three times to check on him. He was in a different part of the crib, in a different position, every time. I know there’s much more to come: crawling, walking, teeth, solid food, words, school, homework, heartbreak, college, career. Based on how time has gone so far, I assume he will graduate high school both next week and in 57 years.

Colin Fisher is many things to many people, but mostly he’s an actor and writer.

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