Editor's note: This blog post was written and intended to be published in time for Father's Day. However, the newest addition to Jessica's family had other plans in mind, which required some last minute edits. We're happy to announce the arrival of another little one into the Cotton Babies family and hope you enjoy this piece, despite it's slightly late arrival.
The first baby my husband ever held was my nephew, for probably 3 minutes before handing him back to me. Fast forward 19 months, and the next baby he held was our daughter. I remember him asking me when she was less than 24 hours old if we were supposed to let her cry herself to sleep so she would learn how to self-soothe.
A LOT has changed since then.
Even if he wasn’t quite sure what to do at the beginning, he dove into fatherhood headfirst. I changed maybe one diaper in the hospital because he was all over it. Vicki spent the majority of her first few weeks in my arms or his. He would reluctantly hand her back to me to nurse because he enjoyed snuggling her so much. My work-obsessed husband was perfectly content sitting on our couch just looking at her features and marveling over her.
When she was four months old, we moved to cut his commute by over an hour each way because he couldn’t stand missing so much of her everyday life.
As amazing as he was as the father of a newborn, he is really shining as the father of a toddler. His face lights up when he gets home from work and she runs to give him a hug. They make up games together that, although I’m not quite sure of the rules, always result in lots of giggles. He builds her forts out of pillows on the couch and insists on playing with every single toy she has during bath time. Whenever he travels for work, he goes out of his way to FaceTime with us and play peek-a-boo over the iPad.
It’s been such a delight to watch him turn into the boy I met to the man I love to the father of my children. He has embraced the role with so much passion and enthusiasm – although I should have known he would from the very beginning, when he cried the night Vicki was born. He is a fantastic father – fun, loving, and silly, but not afraid to say “no” or dole out consequences when she misbehaves. Hers was the first diaper he ever changed, the first bottle he ever fed, the first bath he ever gave. It’s hard to believe now that there was a point in time he was ever not a Daddy.
When they told us Vicki was a girl, he was ecstatic. Now that we have a brand new little boy, I can’t wait to see him grow into the role of a father of two. I look forward to the special relationship he’ll build with our son, different and yet the same as the one he has with our daughter. I know that this is just the beginning, and although there will be challenges ahead, he will be up to the task and be the best Dad our kids could possibly have. I love him so much more just seeing him as a Daddy. Happy Father’s Day, honey.---------------------
Jessica von Wallenstein is a stay at home mom who chronicles her parenting adventures at MomEinstein.com. She has a daughter born in September 2010 and a son born June 2012. She will be buried in cloth diapers for the foreseeable future.