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.