1) Babies are noisy. And I’m not talking about the crying bits; I was totally ready for that. What still throws me is when Grace is asleep and completely calm, she’ll turn her head and honk. How does someone so tiny get so much volume?

2) God, I love putting her in the sling and walking around. If this feeling of peace and contentment as my daughter snoozes against my belly means that I get my Man Card pulled, tell me where to mail it, man. You can keep your card; I wouldn’t trade this time with Grace for anything.

3) You can’t burp out a fart. Yes, I can rub her tummy or bicycle-kick her legs, but, dammit, I want some brilliant pediatrician to find the magical spot on my daughter’s body that I just have to pat a few times to relieve all that gas that’s making her cry like it’s the end of the world. Whoever finds this spot will get the Nobel Prize for Medicine. Probably the Peace Prize, too.

4) For the first three weeks, Grace has had two facial expressions: Asleep and Serious. Then, in week four, when her neck had gotten strong enough to hold up her head, she added a new one: Curious. We’ll get her on one of our shoulders, and she’ll look around with this wide-eyed face that looks like she’s saying, “Hey. I like this. This is cool.” The pots and pans above our sink? Fascinating. The tree outside the living room? Incredible. She’s looking around and drinking it all in, and we love it.

5) I thought my heart was going to burst the night she was born and I first held her. Turns out that feeling was nothing compared to the first time she smiled at me. Oh, man

6) While baby photographers are great and kind and professional, the companies they work for? Pushy.

7) I know every father since time immemorial has felt these things, but I still want to tell everyone I know. I want to stop strangers on the street and say, “Here, you! Look at my daughter! Isn’t she the greatest thing ever?” I have to make sure I don’t babble about the things she does (tummy time! Laughing in her sleep! Grabbing her bottle!) so I don’t become That Kind Of Dad.

8) Actually, I am That Kind Of Dad. I should just admit it.

9 thoughts on “Six weeks in, and what I’ve learned

  1. I should add one more: when your kid tells you she’s hungry, pull the car over and feed her. Do not continue driving. The crying that follows will make you think you are the Worst Dad In The World.

  2. I think you will have lots of moments really soon where you will think you are the worst dad in the world. But if you don’t have moments of doubt about your abilities you are not really trying. If they pull your man card then whatever club you are in is the club I’m going to be in. Become that kind of dad. Nobody else will do it for her and I’m sure she deserves it.

  3. Adam, you are definitely That Kind of Dad, and it is a beautiful, beautiful thing. Ben and I are all verklempt now. So, in the spirit of things, how much does she weigh, how big is she, tell us about a diaper! Solid, liquid or gas? Plasma?

  4. At her one-month checkup, she was just a hair over seven pounds, so she’s probably over seven and a half by now. We could probably go over to the Pump Station, a nearby maternity/nursing/awesome store that’s run by RNs who have scales available, but we’ll probably save that for next week. She’s also a bit over twenty inches. Small kid, but not so small that we’re freaking out over it, especially since she’s starting to put away four ounces of formula at a time.

    As for the diaper…well. Let’s just say she’s prodigious. Healthy, and prodigious.

  5. I suspect *every* dad is That Kind of Dad, even if they — unlike you — don’t admit it.

    My mother likes to tell the story of one of my dad’s best friends, teasing my dad, saying something like: your son’s ugly (not meaning it, obviously).

    My mother got the joke, but my father almost went berserk (my mother restrained him).

    A father’s pride is a volatile thing, but a precious thing, too.

    I will go to WFC in San Diego in 2011, and plan to have a holiday *before* the con — to avoid the after-con crud — in the LA area, visiting you, Anne and Grace.

    Looking forward to seeing the three of you already: take care!

    1. World Fantasy 2011 is going to be a hell of a fun time. My God, it’ll be Grace’s second Halloween. Better start prepping her costume now!

  6. Actually, you can fart a baby in a way that is analogous to burping. Patting or rubbing doesn’t do it.

    Starting below the solar plexus stroke slowly towards the pelvis. Put some pressure into it, so you can feel the internal organs a little. Maybe 10 seconds a stroke.

    After about 10 or so, if you’re lucky, you’ll be rewarded with a tiny baby fart and a happy baby smile. My son soon learned how to do it himself.

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