Karma, Addie and I had a pretty rough patch last night. She screamed (or as my dad would say Squecked ) from 9-12. It felt like a pretty hopeless situation when she was rooting around for a feeding, screaming too much to even try, and with 18 feedings yesterday the boobie milk gauge was on "E". Three hours of this took a pretty good toll on Karma and I, but we tried to take turns soothing her and we came through it ok. At the stroke of midnight Addie decided to have a giant poop (the sort of never ending poop that uses what seems like endless diapers). At this point it had been long enough that the boobie milk store had restored some of its inventory and she had a little feed.
I am beginning to understand some of the choices that people make with their children. Just four days ago I would look at a situation with logic and rational thought, but this fails to consider the most powerful force driving decisions when it comes to a newborn. That force as I see it, is the gut wrenching stress that you feel when she screams as loud as she can, turns red and begins to quiver uncontrollably. In the light of three hours of having my "guts wrenched", last night turned out to be a night of contradictions. In order to stop the insanity I did two things I had already sworn off. The first was the use of a baby straight jacket (Karma has been a big fan of this invention) called the Miracle Blanket. As a Physiotherapist and new dad, I felt the only miracle would be her successfully achieving normal motor function after sleeping in this thing. But at midnight, after a long stretch of screaming I was willing to give it a shot and it was like we hit the mute button.....she loved it. The second contradiction was in our sleeping arrangement. Being terrified of SIDS, I was certain I would never have Addie sleeping in our bed. However, this was the only way she would have it last night, so I constructed a SIDS proof surface on our bed and there she lay...our quiet little girl. The bottom line is that as I contemplate this fathers day I am realizing that I know very little about my new role. But Addison has taught me a few things in our short time together, so here they are;
1) Crying can be one of two things...something needs to go in, or something needs to come out.
2) Everything that looks like it is wrong, is normal and will go away soon. The trick is trying to get yourself to believe that (Impossible).
3) Surprisingly, I can function on 10% of the sleep that I formerly thought that I "needed"
4) Everyone on the road is suddenly a complete idiot, and there is danger everywhere.
This is what I have learned in four days. I wonder what I will learn today.
I am lucky because I know many great fathers to learn from (I should have been taking notes long ago). There is D'Arcy, who is a bit of a super dad, and I am now in awe of how he always seems to know what to do for his kids. There is my brother Mike, who has successfully implemented every strategy that we all learned in intro to child Psych - but have long forgotten. Sure when you ring their doorbell Wynne stats to drool uncontrollably, but you should see how quickly and easily he can get her to do what he wants. There is Bob (Karma's dad who seems to be able to solve just about anything with unconditional love. And lastly there is my grand poobah of Fatherhood, my dad. He has attained the seventh level of fatherhood.....omnipresence. Still at 31 I ask myself what he would do in a situation several times a week. He struck an amazing balance between, love, play and discipline that I am in awe of and hope to emulate with Addison some day. Thanks Dad.
That's it for me.....I am going to spend my day playing with my girls.