Diary of a Dad: Week 12 - Interactionby Adam Riches
Getting interaction from your baby is one of the many rewards you can’t quite put into words as a parent. The first smile, the gurgles when you tickle them and the way they (sometimes) stop crying when they see your face.
Being a parent is tough, but the payoff comes in the most unexpected ways. As your baby starts to interact with you, your whole relationship starts to change and it spells a whole new phase of parenting.
You see your baby’s personality much earlier than you might think. Looking back on our first boy developing, I still see glimpses of how he is now at 3 when he was 6 months old, it’s strange. With that in mind, I love that I’m starting to see our baby’s quirks and little individual things. There are a handful of little actions I know are going to be around forever (Well I hope they are) and it fills my otherwise quite bleak heart. No matter how pessimistic or tough you are with regard to your feelings, when you see certain things for your little ones, you go to mush.
You get a certain smile from your own baby. I mean, our baby smiles at other people too obviously, but he reserves certain smiles just for us. Those are the ones that are worth the most. They’re impossible to photograph too, it’s like you can’t capture the emotion in your baby’s smile...and what I love is that you always have it. When I’ve had the worst, hardest, most stressful day ever, the smile I get when the baby hears my voice changes all of that and it’s (nearly) all forgotten.
No matter where I am or what I’m doing, hearing my kids laugh is the best thing ever. The baby really laughs now and it’s an incredible sound. The way in which he laughs just brings me so much joy, and I don’t even care how soft that sounds. Looking abc at videos of our oldest boy, I love that I can still hear his unique laugh in his laugh now and I hope that the smallest one will keep his little cackle as he grows up. My parents always said it to me, but the joy you see in your kids brings you so much happiness.
I feel like part of my role as a parent is to call my kids out. I already know when the baby is faking. It sounds harsh, but these are the things you need to know! There are times though that I know he is properly upset. That silence before the most audible cry ever - nothing worse waiting for it...then the howl. When your little one is really small, a cry is a cry, but as they grow, the cries start to differentiate a bit.
The most incredible thing you start to see as your baby shows their personality is love. The comfort you can give your own child is something you can’t describe. The way they look at you before they go to sleep. The comfort they find when they are with you. As they get older, the more love you see...I’m sure there is a point at which they start to regress...but until then, I’m cashing in!