Four Weeks In And I'm A Pro
By Paul Morrone CFP®, CPA/PFS, MSA
I now have a whopping four weeks of experience as a parent. And during those four weeks I learned more about parenthood than I learned in the last 30 years of my life. Many of you will laugh at that statement as you quickly count the years or decades since your first child was born, but the truth is, I really had no idea what I was getting into until Kyle popped out. The pre-parent Paul figured that caring for a newborn would be like taking care of a pet (which, mind you, I’ve never done full-time in my life). Should be easy, right?
If you’re wondering, I’ve figured out by now that I was sadly mistaken in my initial assumption. Even Buddy is resourceful enough to feed himself, drink water on his own and to let us know when he needs to go to the bathroom. He can be left alone for hours unattended, will sleep through the night and always greets you with a smile when you walk in the door. If he’s barking, it’s probably because a squirrel is taunting him through the window or because the UPS truck driving down the street. If he yelps, it’s probably because I stepped on his foot when he’s trolling underneath me for scraps while I’m preparing dinner. And if he bites me it’s probably because I’m taking food away from him.
Kyle doesn’t have those predicable traits yet, which leads to a panicked “why is he crying” assessment as soon as we hear him start to whimper. Sticking true to my Italian heritage, my knee jerk reaction is to throw food at the problem and try to convince Jill to feed him again, even if he just ate. If he won’t eat and is still crying, we’ll try to burp him. And if all else fails, we’ll look in the diaper to see if he’s clean. So far, these three things have remediated about 99% of our problems, except for the fact that that one of those three things occurs at least hourly, which results in an exhausting day. Jill has heard my mother tell stories about me as an infant with my endless appetite, inability to nap and constant need for attention. Kyle is now starting to exhibit some of those characteristics, and if the apple doesn’t roll far from the tree, I’m sure she’s is terrified.
Luckily, Kyle has been a great baby, and is pretty darn cute in my personal (completely biased) opinion. He sleeps well, eats well and only cries for a reason. Parenting isn’t easy, and for anyone who has raised twins (or worse, triples!), I salute you. I feel like we’re finally starting to get into a groove, although it was touch-and-go at the beginning. Learning how to raise a newborn has been like learning to swing a golf club. It looks so easy on TV, but when you finally get your hands on the club, its awkward, painful and you’ll probably miss the ball entirely on your first swing. From the delivery room up until now, our lives have been a constant string of questionable decisions, uncomfortable situations and stressful moments. Of course, all of that is quickly forgotten when Kyle opens his eyes and stares at you with a smile, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.