Everyone tells you how fast your kid will grow up when she arrives. They say things like, ‘she’ll be up and about in no time’ and ‘blink and you’ll miss it’. I heard it a million times but never really took the time to think about what it meant. I always put it in the in the same small talk nonsense category as old people saying ‘you’re next’ at a wedding!
Alas it is true. She is growing… really fast. I think it’s incredible and from most perspectives, a beautiful thing but at the same time it all feels so fleeting. Every cm she grows is another ‘age’ gone by that we will never be able to reclaim. Her face changes every day and as she grows more and more beautiful, the passing of time becomes all too real.
The thing that started this train of thought was something we had to do a few days ago. A task tinged with sadness; retiring some of Baby D’s clothes from her wardrobe as they no longer fit her. It really dawned on us that she will never be that small ever again. As heart warmingly awesome it’s going to be watching her grow up, day by day, the reality is that the moments I have with her now are so precious and I don’t want to miss any of them! I completely understand why parents are so trigger happy with a camera as they want to hold on to every little memory they can. These memories are absolute gold-dust to me right now. Every nap on my chest, every bit of eye contact we share and even the times she has shat on my hand… it’s all for great memory making!
I’m slowly learning to trust my instincts as to what her needs are. When she reacts in a certain way, I’m trying to marry the need to the sounds and facial expressions, which to be fair, are limited at 5 weeks! In many way’s I’m also trusting Baby D to tell me what she wants and needs. Again it’s all about instinct and no matter how much we read, research and talk to parents, we’re basically winging it. Learning the rhythms of my baby girl.
Advice ranges from ‘don’t pick her up too much’ to ‘never let your child sleep in your bed’. In many ways, I want to completely ignore this advice as after all the screaming, cute cooing and toddler insanity is over, we’ll be left with a child who may not want as many cuddles, kisses and sleeping on Daddies shoulder as much. She’ll be a big girl, too cool for cuddles. I also want her to grow up and become a self-assured little girl who knows that Mum and Dads affection is always unconditional and she won’t have to look over her shoulder to see if Dad’s still there, and negotiate a room without the anxiety of having to talk to new people. Independence will grow from a solid bedrock of love and affection. I’m aware that her personality will influence this more than anything else, but I’m also a firm believer in learning new behaviours if a previous one isn’t working for you, and I had to learn that the hard way! I’m her Dad and I’ll be neck and neck with Mum in place for being her first teacher in life.
The more she grows, the more I will have to start thinking about how to help her grow. How can I give her the best start in life, mentally and emotionally? She really is going to grow up so fast… I just want to ensure that this NuDad is prepared. It is the end of an era every day, but it’s also the beginning of a whole new one.