Wednesday, November 23, 2011

100 Days For My Baby Girl: Week 2

Week 2
The second week of parenthood can be a nice change of pace from the hectic, almost frantic, first seven days. We know the first week feels like a few hours, or minutes, or maybe even seconds—like a blurred combination of trying to do the right thing at the right time at the right place. But, after a few days, things start to slow down, and by day 8, you have a chance to shave your mini-beard, to catch up on Facebook, and to watch last week’s Survivor episode. The second week also allows for bonding time with your family and to enjoy one-on-one time with the new bundle of joy. This time it will be a little different than the first time around as I’m trying to figure out how to balance attention between my 18-month old son (Munch) and baby girl (K2). So, Week 2 is going to be all about connection—and here are two things I'm planning on doing:

#1: Take Professional Baby Pictures
I’ve taken a million pictures in my life, but I would hardly consider myself a photographer. Sure, I will snap the occasional gem, but every other picture seems to capture a closed pair of eyes, someone flipping the bird, or an involuntary muscle twitch of the upper or lower lip. But with a newborn, this should be easy, right? Feed her, burp her, lay her on the bed, and click the camera like a maniac, and I’m bound to get three pictures out of the lot that are halfway decent. And with Munch, that’s exactly what I did. However, the lighting made it look like we lived in a dungeon, the shadows made it look like he had one eye, and the angles seemed to always cut off a foot or hand. Plus, we never got a family shot as it was either just Munch, or Munch and Wifey, or Munch with Daddy. I tried photoshopping myself into a Munch and Wifey photo and failed miserably. I looked like a creepy stalker who forced his way into a family (definitely not the photo I wanted to showcase on my desk when I returned to work). Which is why we will be hiring a professional to take photographs of K2—and of our family. I want to show my little girl off and I don’t want her pillow soaked in drool or for people to ask why she is missing her left ear. I want to remember my son’s confused face when we told him to kiss his sister, how Wifey radiated while she held K2 in her arms, and how my smile was never going to be bigger than during those very moments.

#2: Establish skin-to-skin contact
Dads are a few steps back in the connection department before baby even arrives. From conception, everything about Mom is constantly changing for 9 months: her lifestyle, her diet, and her body. Meanwhile, Dad continues to watch SportsCenter, eat Cool Ranch Doritos, and drink Miller Lite until his heart’s content. During pregnancy, the only real connection I remember having is feeling the baby kick, jab, or elbow Mommy’s belly—which I assume pales in comparison to actually feeling those actions inside of you. And for those Mommies who breastfeed, the bonding continues. With Munch, my bonding came when we watched our first baseball game together. I’m not waiting this time. That second week, when Wifey and I are laying around the house, K2 is going to be stripped to a diaper with her naked tummy laying on my bare chest. Her skin against my skin, her heartbeat against my heartbeat, her breaths against my breaths. Granted, I will probably be watching SportsCenter, eating Cool Ranch Doritos, and drinking a Miller Lite as she’s laying there, but that’s besides the point. Mommy gets the feeding relationship, but Daddy gets the relaxation relationship. It will be my distinct pleasure to introduce my little girl, first-hand, to the art form of “chilling.”

Bonding is something we all know is important, but are we (as in adults) always ready for it from the get-go? Newborns know nothing else. They desire it. They crave it. They need it. But for fathers, connecting with their newborns can be a process, if you let it. With Munch, I waited for that connection to happen. It came naturally, but in hindsight, it could have come much sooner. So with K2, I’m not waiting. And I’ll be damned if I let a day go by without bonding with my little girl.

Are you doing anything for your baby girl that I can copy???? =)

Check out the previous week below:

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