Before Lydia was born, it seemed like everyone Hannah and I talked to stressed all the things we wouldn’t be able to do once we had a baby. Comments like, “Say goodbye to your sleep!” and, “Forget about having time to yourself!” seemed to come up on a regular basis. I have always liked kids, and I’ve always been excited to be a dad, but I wasn’t always excited about the newborn phase. I used to joke with Hannah that our kids could be hers until they were potty-trained, and then I’d happily take them from there. (Don’t worry, I was joking—mostly.)
There are obviously struggles with raising a newborn, including some sleepless nights and some moments of sheer panic when you can’t figure out what’s wrong, but shortly after Lydia was born I realized taking care of a newborn could be—dare I say it—fun!
I recently tried explaining this shocking realization to one of my co-workers, and all that resulted from the conversation was that I think he is now convinced I’m a looney. How could anyone possibly enjoy doting on every need of a tiny human who forgets you exist as soon as you leave the room? How could a newborn possibly be fun?
Personally, I think there are lots of reasons! But for today’s post I’ve narrowed it down to my top four:
- Watching your newborn is incredibly entertaining. I honestly think that I never would have tired of watching newborn-Lydia sleep. The short little breaths, the soft cooing and the high-pitched grunts (that reminded me of a pug)—all of it was almost too cute and fascinating to pull myself away from.
- No achievement is too small to deny celebration. Can you imagine a world where people were constantly cheering you for things like picking your head up, eating, burping and sneezing? Watching Lydia develop basically felt like we were throwing one long congratulatory party—with, I admit, some occasional crying. Watching Lydia learn new things is one of the most gratifying feelings I’ve ever experienced.
- Newborn bodily functions are hilarious. Yeah, I went there. I know, as adults, we try to be mature about this sort of thing, but there is no denying how funny it is to watch a baby’s face while it poops. It’s no secret that the first few months of a baby’s life are basically just a giant digestive war. Newborns burp, fart and make so many other strange noises that you’ll eventually have to laugh, no matter how immature you think potty-humor is. There’s something about hearing an 8-pound baby passing gas louder than many adults that I find irresistibly funny (not that I’ve never prided myself on being super mature). Extra bonus: The occasion may arise when you can use your newborn as cover for your own inability to control your bodily functions in public—not that I’ve done it or anything …
- Dad jokes! There’s nothing like a newborn to remind me of one of my most important fatherly responsibilities: to provide a regular dose of laughter and silliness (or eye-rolling, at least) for everyone in the household. Knowing that my newborn could not understand me did not deter me from practicing up on my puns, one-liners and other dad-joke shenanigans. As soon as Lydia was born, felt I had the right to make as many dumb jokes as popped into my head—and also to demand that Hannah at least give me a chuckle or an eye roll of recognition. Having a newborn is a catalyst for loads of jokes, even if I am the only one who thinks they’re funny.
Some people (like my co-worker) might still ask how any of this could possibly be considered enjoyable. Those people can call me a looney, but I, for one, am very excited to be adding another newborn to our family in just a couple months!