Category Archives: family

Little Guy Update

 

jatlas4mo

J.Atlas continues to be awesome. His most recent skills include shoulder rides, poking his parents in the face, and concerted efforts to consume all handheld electronic devices.

Baby

There are those points in one’s life where maturity escalates rather abruptly. Going to college, having bills for the first time, starting a full time job, buying a house, getting married, and of course having a kid.

I think of all of these, only did the arrival of J.Atlas not remotely fit to my preconceived constraints.

Prior to the J.Atlas arrival friends, family, and coworkers were generous with comments. Many were cliche.

“It’ll change your life forever!”

“It’ll be the best time of your life.”

“Enjoy sleep now, while you can!”

“It’s the toughest job you’ll ever love!”

“It’ll be hard, but it’ll get easier.”

“You’ll stop doing all your fancy cooking as soon as that baby comes.”

All those messages sunk in and collected together in my brain into some sort of strange network of assumptions. Now 3 months in, I can admit that nearly all of these assumptions were wrong. Here are my discoveries so far:

  1. Babies aren’t that hard – Okay, caring for a baby is challenging, but not in the way that I thought. I had assumed that the toughest part would be the baby screaming or fussing while desperation sucks life out of you. Like a Dementor from Harry Potter wearing a diaper. But really, that’s not all that common. It happens, but it’s not the norm. The biggest challenge for me so far has been working in a new environment with Jen. It’s the classic challenge of paired management. For me, as a father and husband, navigating our relationship through his development can be genuinely tough. Being supportive when I need to be supportive and trying to communicate what I think is best for the little guy while being respectful to Jen’s preferences. This is legit hard. The baby’s easy.
  2. Sleep is not gone forever – there is no question we sleep less than we did before. But it’s not as hard as I thought. It’s just kinda what we do now. That’s it. It’s the new norm.
  3. We have tons of time – Seriously. We have tons of time. We just can’t really use the time. Boredom is surprisingly everywhere. What do you do after you’ve played with the rattle, read him a book, sang a few songs, bounced him, gone for a walk, and after all that only two minutes have passed? You just kind of do it again. This is the real time sync that people hint at. It’s not that you don’t have time, you just don’t have the luxury of choosing how to use it.
  4. Overall, life isn’t that different – People say everything changes, but it doesn’t. We are still us. We still have dinner together and enjoy walks. We have a little man that we carry with us, but we are still us.

Final Conclusion

I think when it’s my turn to hurl broad generalizations at expecting parents, I’m going to put it this way:

Babies increase life’s standard deviation. It’s like the bell curve of emotion has flattened a bit. The lows are lower, the highs are higher, but overall the mean and median remain unchanged. You respond with more maturity; maturity being nothing more than the ability to better handle broadening of our own personal happiness confidence intervals.

Sleep so far

I’m pretty sure John Atlas is a normal baby. Most of his time is spent either sleeping, eating, or fussing. Still, it’s somewhat maddening as we constantly question the most appropriate behavior for every situation. The scenarios read like poorly designed logic word problems that have no solution:

It’s 7:00pm on Thursday and Johnathan has been awake for 2 hours. He looks tired, but if he goes to sleep he has a 50% chance of waking up right when his parents would like to go to sleep and then will likely to fuss all night. If he ate poorly at 6:30pm and hasn’t had a bath since Tuesday, will his parents be able to watch the new Game of Thrones episode on Sunday?

One frustrating part is that we have so few data points that trends haven’t yet developed. Here is his eating (red) and sleeping (blue) schedule since the pediatricians said we no longer had to wake him for feedings:

SleepSoFar

Please forgive the 30minute resolution here, I didn’t have the energy to go any deeper. In a general sense, it appears like he’s sleeping better at night with a couple long daytime naps; at best this is loosely accurate. Eh. It’ll come together eventually.

One week

JAtlas is about a week old and, honestly, he’s been pretty chill. Jen has been an amazing mother and has aced the caregiver role. I’m not very useful beyond getting chores done and occasionally bringing food or beverage to Jen.

Here’s Mom & Dad D with JAtlas:

JAtlas2

Jen and I are just about falling into a rhythm now. The nights are occasionally tough, but not at all what I had originally expected. Most of the time (day or night) he sleeps and his cries are only as long as it takes us to either feed him or clean him.

I’ve heard that this phase doesn’t last long and that weeks 6-8 can get really rough, but at least for now we’ve simply been enjoying the quiet cuteness.

Announcement!

On 5-10-2016 at 12:52am was born Johnathan Atlas DiDonato!
7lbs 9oz, 20.75″ long.

Pictures to come. In the meantime we will be trying to keep the little guy happy not unhappy.