Well friends, it’s been 3 months since the golden child arrived. Has our household changed at all? You better freakin’ believe it! I was convinced that I would be taking the addition of a third child in stride, weathering this storm much like any other speed bump in life.
I’m here to tell you that I’ve eaten several delectable meals of crow since bragging to friends and family that this will be a walk in the park. I can’t explain why, but somehow the entire dynamics of our household have changed since Andon joined us on December 11th. I’ll get to that later, but first some of the updates related directly to his first 3 months on this Earth.
As I have two daughters, I have been lulled into a false sense of security when it comes to diaper-changing. I’ll admit it – we’ve been spoiled in that our two daughters weren’t really much of an issue when it came to changing diapers. I can probably count on one hand how many times they peed when their diapers were being changed, and I don’t think either of them ever pooped without a diaper on. Worrying about a girl peeing on you when you’re changing her diaper is like worrying about a car spraying you with water when it has mudflaps. Well, the joke’s on me, because this kid has a whole different set of skills, not to mention different equipment. I’ve heard the stories, seen the America’s Funniest Home Videos and read the warning labels. But you just can’t quite comprehend the ability of a baby boy to piss on absolutely everything within a 10 foot radius until you’ve been IN that radius. First diaper I changed, I got it. I mean I GOT IT. I completely forgot about the warnings, and was admiring the fact that my son appears to be hung like a miniature donkey. Well, that little pisser didn’t waste the opportunity – it got to work, and it soaked its surroundings. Two valuable lessons were learned. Always cover up the little dude’s unit the instant you take off his dirty diaper and secondly, always close your mouth when changing diapers. Trust me on that one – it’s for the best. For the record, he is producing lovely English-style mustard consistency poops on a very regular basis.
Speaking of bodily functions, if there ever was any question as to whether Andon is my son or not, it can quickly be answered by measuring quantity and volume of his burps and farts. His mother insists there is still hope for him to become civilized – while I sit next to her, heartily applauding his efforts. The little man can produce a vicious load of gas, and has the ability to blow it out of both exits at extraordinary volume levels, such that my daughters ask who that was – from a different floor of the house. Excuse me while I wipe away a little tear of pride that has welled up.
Communication has progressed nicely with Andon. He went from quietly sleeping to completely losing it, screaming as though he was being barbecued, within 2 seconds – and didn’t seem to have any graduations in between those two states. Off or on. That was it. Thankfully, he’s come up with a couple of different ways to let us know what’s going on with him. When he’s hungry, he does start fussing now, which gives you an approximate 1 to 2 minutes of grace time before the air-raid siren kicks in and shatters all glass items in the vicinity. He certainly has more power in those lungs than his sisters had – I don’t ever remember my ears ringing a half-hour after one of them cried. Also, and substantially more endearing, is his cooing. He has just started and when a little man looks at you, almost smiling, and starts saying deep things like “Gooooooooo, gooooooooooooo”, it just doesn’t matter what happened that day. It all melts away.
Speaking of almost smiling – that was another minor frustration. I do remember from the other kids – the smiling thing just doesn’t happen overnight, and even when they start smiling, it’s not a full-on beaming grin. So for the first six weeks or so, I’m wondering why the heck my son is so depressed that he can’t even crack a little smile until I remembered that those muscles don’t quite work yet. My bad. So when I saw his first smile, I almost started crying. It was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen. It was so cute. It was so tuggy at my heart strings. It was so…. lopsided? What the?! Why was he only smiling with one side? I immediately asked my wife if he had had a stroke or something, because for the first week or two, he would only smile with one half of his face. I was considering pulling out the receipt to see if I could get some warranty work done on this little dude, when he finally came around and gave us a full smile. And it’s the best smile in the world – just like his sisters’ smiles. Now, when you come up to him and he’s just minding his own business, you just have to say “Where’s that smile?!” and he will smile to the point where you’re actually worried that his face might break in half.
Obviously, at this age, he remains quite floppy but he does want to put in the effort and wants to stand up and stay up on his own strength any time you give him the chance. All he needs is help to balance. I’ve decided the time was right, and have bought him a hockey stick and a fishing rod. And a firearm. He’s ready.
His eye colour still hasn’t sorted itself out, which isn’t likely to happen for a few more months. As with our other children, my wife (whose eyes are amazing light, icy blue) keeps the hope alive that one of our kids will look even remotely like her. Our two daughters’ baby pictures, when viewed beside mine, are identical. I’m not exagerrating – when you put either of their pictures next to my baby pictures, you’d have a difficult time telling them apart. Well, except for the weiner. Andon has been no exception – as a matter of fact, he has looked more like me than the other two did. My wife has always wondered if one of our kids would at least get ONE single solitary physical trait from her, and it has always led to us wondering which colour those little eyes will be. His eyes definitely haven’t made up their minds yet, but it looks like they’re leaning towards dark, just like mine. I win. Again.
When it comes to eating, Andon is on formula. He’s a spitter-upper, just like his sisters were. We’ve just come to terms with the fact that we carry small towels or a pressure washer with us wherever we go, and we already pre-apologize to company, family, etc for the lovely stains on their shoulders. That said, it does get irritating sometimes when you’ve just cleaned him up, changed him into something clean and dry, and he looks at you, smiles, and yacks a half-litre of cottage-cheesey goodness all over it again. I’m almost positive that he does it on purpose. That’s fine, because I’ll get him back. He’s not getting to play with his gun until he smartens up with that.
I briefly want to discuss the difference between clothing for boys and girls and the marked difference in the messages they can send. It’s been interesting, because our two daughters had little pink outfits with frilly frills and girly-girl stuff and unicorns and rainbows and kitties. That’s the girly-girl thing to do. Now that we have a boy, we are dressing him in clothes with all these sayings on them. It’s not the fact that there are lots of boys’ clothes that have messages on them that caught my attention. It’s the messages themselves. Have you noticed that there is quite a difference in what’s acceptable for a boy versus what would work for a girl? For example, my son has an outfit that says “Lock Up Your Daughters”. Haha, yes, that’s hilarious. Wait! What? What is that implying? He’s going to be a heart-breaker, and go through girls like Rita McNeil goes through meatpies? Or what? Funny thing is, whatever it’s implying seems to be OK. Now here’s my question to you – would you get the equivalent for a girl? Would you dress your 3 month old daughter in a onesie that says: “Imma be a ho”? Didn’t think so. If you answered yes, you are excused from the class. You put the “ho” in honesty.
On the evening that Andon turned 8 weeks old, all the girls were out and we had a boys’ night – just my son and I. I put on a movie with The Rock in it (oh, sorry, that’s Duane Johnson now), got out beer, spicy Doritos and beef jerky and we were set. At one point, I decided to have a chat with him – I sat him on my knee and looked him straight in the eyes and let him know that I was simply sick and tired of being sick and tired. I wanted my sleep back, and it was time to man up and start sleeping through the night. I reminded him that he has responsibilities around here, as the second man of the house. The hilarity came not from the one-sided conversation, but rather from the fact that, being so floppy and not having much neck strength at that time, it looked like he was nodding the whole time – soaking it all up and saying “yep, Dad, I know it. My bad for keeping you guys up at night. I know you’re right. I agree.” It looked so funny! I had a great laugh at the “instructions” I gave him, and the bobble-headed agreement he nodded the whole time and we kept watching the movie. Well, my friends, Andon has been sleeping through the night without exception since that night. Until then, he’d maxed out at about 4 hours at a time. We’re very grateful for this – we’ve been blessed with 3 good sleepers. Although I’m only 7 years older now than when my first child joined our family, it felt as though I was less equipped to deal with the interrupted sleep this time around. It must be my age, because I was crankier, and for more mornings than not, I’d be sitting in my parkade at work, wondering how the heck I got there. Scary. Anyway, I tell everyone that I had a talk with my son about the sleeping business….. and he darn well listened.
I’d say that about covers where we’re at with this little guy. He’s got character, that one – he’s a handful to deal with, just like his mom. I hope he ends up shy and reserved like me, but we’ll see about that.
I wondered before we met this person whether it would be a boy or a girl. Once I knew it was a boy, I wondered what raising him would be like. Now that I’ve got to know my son for a few months, I wouldn’t change this experience for anything. He’s the easiest kid in the world to love, just like his sisters.
Just a few quick words about our household and how it’s changed. Abigail has taken to Andon very well – she is the big sister and she is always there to give him his bottle when it falls, or his soother, or to turn on the tunes on his bouncy chair. She’s very much a care-giver personality and it’s showing more than ever. Amalie has really fallen in love with him too – being the younger one, we were worried about jealousy or other negative emotions coming into play, but we honestly haven’t seen even a hint of that. She acts different towards him than Abigail does – Amalie is more of a buddy with him. She’ll sit with him, talk to him and point out things in the room. It has been very interesting to see how the girls have gotten used to a new person in the house.
Thanks for reading – it’s been an adventure, and I’ll drop a few lines here and there as time goes on. I’m always looking for feedback and advice to be the best dad I can possibly be – feel free to drop me a line anytime!