Being a dad is a constantly changing experience. As a first time father I’m always being challenged and educated about my son and about what my role is in his life. Elliott is 10 months old now and my day-to-day with him is drastically different now than it was even a couple of months back. It’s a cliche, but it blows my mind how quickly he’s growing.
As Elliott begins to grow and learn, I notice that he’s beginning to see his world differently, and that in turn means he’s beginning to see me and his mother differently too. Whereas before he would just stare at us blankly while we wiped the drool from one end of him and the turds from the other, now when I walk in the house after work at night there is recognition and happiness to see me. He knows who I am. We’re entering a new stage in parenthood.
If a newborn baby is like the opening Grasslands Level of a game, where everything’s pretty chill and you’re just learning the controls, I guess this next step into older infancy/toddlerhood is more like the Water Level. Everything is getting shaken up a bit. Just when I was figuring things out, he has to throw in some new tricks to keep me on my toes. I can take the basics of what I’ve learned so far as a foundation, but I’m going to have to step up my game going forward.
Elliott now ‘talks’ non-stop with his babbling nonsense. This means I have to start really talking to him and laying the groundwork for his language development. Yikes. He’s also well into the crawling stage and beginning to pull himself up to his feet, which means we need to baby-proof the crap out of our house. Every drawer and bookcase in this joint has become a baby treasure chest just waiting to be pillaged.
But I think more than anything I am blown away by his developing character. We can make him laugh now. He enjoys Face Timing with his Grandma and recognizes her voice. He has ‘friends’ that he plays with at daycare every day. And he has personality quirks that are all his own like the way he always chuckles in short bursts. He’s developing a personality right before our eyes. Molding the person that he’s going to be for his whole life. It’s so cool.
I know I’m still early in the game and that things are only going to get more challenging from here on out. The terrible twos are probably going to be the Ice Level where everything we do as parents is just one step away from sliding head-first into a tantrum. Those levels suck. And looking even further down the road? Puberty is most definitely going to be the Lava Level. I don’t even want to think about that. Maybe there’s a Warp Whistle I can use to get past that one…
Ultimately the road ahead for me, like all parents, is uncharted. No matter what we think we know, our kids are bound to show us something new and unexpected. As challenging as that may be, it’s also half the fun.
What level are you in with your parenting experience? We’d love to hear from you! Sound off in the comments section below to share your story with the Mega Dads Community!
This weeks speed painting is Nariko from Heavenly Sword. Let us know which character you’d like to see next in the comments!