Am I a terrible father because I struggled throughout the first month or two of fatherhood? Does that make me a bad person? Is this something that I shouldn’t be saying out loud?
Certainly, I’ve always loved O, but that love was blended with a crushing, “Holy crap…what the hell did I get myself into?” feeling. However, as O has grown from an eating, sleeping, crying and pooping alien-baby into a curious, responsive, engaged, and happy little man, my apprehension has evolved into an obsession – a fascination with every little thing he does and each move he makes.
In other words, for new fathers out there feeling the same way that I did at the beginning, here are a few things to look forward to at seven months.
1 – He is sleeping through the night
7:30 PM to 7:00 AM. Every night!
I hate to even write this down. It scares me to think that I’ll jinx the luck N and I have with O’s sleep schedule. That being said, for us, these 12 hours are a critical refuge from the constant attention that our little man demands. It’s shocking how little conversation N and I have time for while O is awake. If we’re talking, the conversations are likely hot topics, such as diapers and bottles and throw-up.
Now, in those precious few evening hours after 7:30, N and I can actually connect with one another.
2 – He can hold his own bottle
The first time O was able to hold his own bottle, even for a few seconds, I saw it as a blessing. The 15 minutes of time I earned back (especially in the morning) are a refreshing reminder of my pre-baby days. I can actually enjoy my coffee, cut an apple in peace, clean bottles, or simply sit and daydream for a few minutes.
It was also amazing to watch as he learned to grab the bottle, put it in his mouth, take it back out, and then find his mouth all over again. Yes, these are the little things that get me excited these days.
3 – Watching him try new food is hilarious
Peas, sweet potatoes, avocados, bananas…whatever it is, he’s into it. Thankfully, for impatient N and me, O will basically eat anything.
Prior to the birth of O, watching a baby eat typically grossed me out, and to be honest, it probably still does. However, when it’s O’s face covered in a bizarre mix of carrots and oatmeal, I find it hilarious! I’m taking pictures, I’m shooting video, and I’m posting it on Facebook.
I honestly don’t mind that no one else cares nearly as much as N and I do…it cracks me up.
4 – He can smile, laugh, acknowledge, and respond
After months of feeding, changing, and burping, it was a welcome change when O began responding. At first, it was a simple glance in my direction or eye contact for more than a few seconds.
Now, he recognizes my voice from across the room, he reaches out his hands when he wants to be picked up, and he smiles and laughs. Also, I’m not talking about a little giggle, but a deep belly laugh that practically fills the room. When I hear that laugh, I’ll keep doing whatever it takes to keep him laughing, regardless of how foolish it makes me look.
5 – He can sit up, but he still can’t move
The coming days of movement scare me to death. Crawling and walking will lead to the requisite baby proofing of the house. I don’t think I want any of it. I like O how he is now. He hangs out, he chills, and he’s immobile. I can sit him up, hand him a toy, and he’s as happy as a clam. More importantly, I know that he will be in the exact same place the next time I look over. It’s perfect.
The thought of a mobile baby and the laser-focused attention that he will soon require sounds overwhelming.
Everyone keeps telling me that every stage gets better and better, but for me, seven months is the best age ever!