Memories from the First 14 Weeks of Fatherhood

Thursday September 26th, 2019 // After Bedtime

My kid turns 14 weeks in a few days. For those unaccustomed to counting in weeks instead of months like I was a short time ago, that’s a little north of 3 months old.

The days and weeks are whizzing by. I feel like I’m running alongside a highway and the cars and trucks passing me are time itself.

Before I blink and 14 weeks is 14 years, I want to jot down some memories from my time with my little guy up to this point so they don’t get lost on the side of my time road.

In absolutely no order here we go:

  • There was a time when he was a few weeks old where he’d bust out this super creepy smile. It was always right after our bedtime feeding around 8:30 PM or at his twilight feeding around Midnight. These were my feedings where we’d be in his room sitting on the rocker. He’d be propped up on my leg with my hand behind his head supporting him. And after he finished his bottle he’d be sitting upright, basically asleep, and just start smiling. He wasn’t capable of actually smiling at this point and with his eyes closed and this ridiculous smile it was soo weird. The first night it freaked me out. I told my wife and she didn’t believe me and just thought I was sleep deprived (which I probably was). The next night he did it again and I knew I wasn’t crazy. It was then I decided to have some fun with it since I was starting to see a pattern when he’d do it. The next night my wife was in the room while I was feeding him. And he started to do the smile and because of how he sits on my leg with my hand supporting his neck/head, he kinda looks like a ventriloquist dummy. So I slightly rotated his body towards her and I mimicked his creepy smile and we totally scared her. We did this for another few nights until the weird smiles stopped. 
  • On the drive from Greensboro to Asheville on our road trip when he was ~10 weeks old we had to make an emergency stop at something called like the Hill Billy Diner in the middle of Nowhere, North Carolina. After changing and feeding him we couldn’t get out of that gravel parking lot fast enough.
  • On our Asheville trip we sat down at Wicked Weed and the waitress came over to get our drink order. Only then did we realize it had be 10+ weeks since we’ve actually been to a restaurant with a server.
  • A couple weeks ago we started “swim lessons” where we basically hold the kid in the pool while singing songs. The first class we didn’t realize we both could get in the water so my wife sat on the sidelines while I’m in the pool with all the other couples and their babies. And I was stuck doing all the songs and movements with the kid alone. It made for a good bonding experience and I guess I better get used to these ridiculous kid songs.
  • On his first day heading to daycare I put him in his car seat and he immediately spit up all over his shirt. He hadn’t eaten in 3 hours!! We were already running late too.
  • It feels like a moment ago that my wife and I were out to dinner with friends when I asked if I should order a beer. She said, “Go ahead. There’s no way I’m having this baby tonight.” Then she had our baby 16 hours later. That Grapefruit Sculpin was delicious though.
  • I want to always remember sitting in the hospital chair with him falling asleep in my arms doing chest-to-chest while I read him the pitching probables for that day.
  • Those first couple weeks at home when it was just our little family — no work, no errands, no conference calls, no freelancing — it was better than trip or vacation. We had no idea what we were doing (and still are just winging it), stressed out, on minimal sleep, but it was beautiful.
  • We grossly underestimated how many burp cloths we’d need.
  • Recently we’ve been playing a game I’ve dubbed, “Laugh Our Asses Off.” It consists of laying him down on the changing table. Changing his diaper. Then we stare at each other smiling and then begin laughing uncontrollably. He likes to do this thing where he kinda purrs and does a rolling ‘r’ sound and when I do it back to him he laughs his ass off. Then I laugh at him. He laughs at me. And we go on like that for a few minutes. It’s the highlight of my day. After “Laugh Our Asses Off” I sit down and speed read one of his baby books since I get about two minutes sitting in the rocker reading before he fusses. Right now he’s into Dr. Seuss’ Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You?
  • The first time we bathed him we had no idea what we were doing and as I was holding him while standing in the tub and my wife washing his back, he peed all over my stomach. That was the first and so far only time he’s got me.
  • The drive home from the hospital was the most terrifying drive of my life. Worse than any blinding rain or snow storm.
  • The first ~3 weeks of his life we made him wear a hat 24/7 because that’s what the hospital said to do. IDK why we stopped but he’s been fine ever since. Despite hating winter, I am pretty pumped for him to be back in hats soon.

I’d love to think of some sappy ending memory for this list but let’s be real. It’s late as I write this and as a new father sleep is more important than crafting the perfect ending. Cutting myself off so I can be well-rested when I make new memories with him.

– Josh // Trying Not To Forget

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