Natalia often smiles, when she hands over Tosia to me and the first thing I say to her is “Hello, I am your dad!”. I catch myself doing this over and over again and I am also laughing about this. But there is something more behind this funny introduction, something deep inside me. It is a need for having a strong relationship, to be accepted, to be loved by my little one.
For the first 3 weeks after birth, when I stayed home, I did not notice a difference between how Tosia reacted to me and Natalia. But then things changed. I went back to nine-to-five office job and naturally started to spend less time with her. And then one day I saw how she intentionally smiled for the first time, looking at her mom. I admit I was jealous. What makes things worse, when I was coming back home from work and held her in my arms in the evening, she was crying a lot. More than before, according to my subjective evaluation. I could rationalize it, but my unconsciousness whispered bitterly “she does not feel comfortable with you, she prefers mummy…”. And that was painful. At the same time my positive rational mind kept explaining: “crying is a form of communication, can be healing, and may actually indicate lots o of trust between yourselves”.
But truth be told, I knew one thing. I do not want my relationship with Tosia be built only on crying times together, and I think Tosia would agree with it. I had to find other ways and time to connect with her. So recently I looked at Tosia and imagined, that she would speak up and give me some advice. And immediately I heard the words of wisdom…
Screw the dishes!
Listen, I know you want to help and feel productive at home. You see how much Mom is busy and tired and you thought that perhaps you could be a hero at home by loading and unloading a dish-washer or do the dishes yourself. But both her and me, we would need you more flirting with us and not with the bowls, plates and little spoons. They can wait, and we are cool with that. Me specifically. Instead, simply spend more time with me. And I am sure Mom would appreciate it, as she needs some breaks from me too (although I am being told that I am the most wonderful baby in the whole universe, but well, women are not always rational…). So let it go Dad and let me be with you more often!
Would you mind leaving this screen behind?
I do not know what it is, and honestly I do not care. I only see that you like it more than me and Mom. Christ! (oh sorry, can I speak like that before being baptized?). Leave it behind, out of your reach! I need to be with you fully and have your undivided attention. You learnt so much at these very wise and serious courses and now it is time to make use of it! Come on! Do you think it is even polite? If you go on a date, obviously with Mom, do you also check the screen while speaking with her? I hope you do not check Tinder by the way! I do not approve it and tell you very frankly – gentlemen do not do it and I want my Dad to be a gentleman!
Stay strong, literally!
How old are you, Dad? Ok, whatever, I cannot count until that much… So you are that old??? I do not care. If you want to connect with me, there is one thing you should know: I like to be carried around the apartment. Fine, you do not have to do squats with me or bounce or dance. These are extras and may be nice from time to time. But Dad! Do not sit down with me on a couch after 5 minutes! This is not cool! I want to have an energetic Dad, who can keep up with me! And hey, I am only 10 weeks old. Do you get what I mean? I will be much heavier and much more lively, so beware! Or better, start working out! But not instead being with me. You are asking me, how you are supposed to find time for it? I do not know! You are the Dad you should know everything, right?
Slow down! I mean sloooow doooooown…
Just shut up and observe, what I am doing. You do not have to anticipate my needs before I am aware of them. I know you do this for work in marketing, but hello! Now you are at home! So do not rush from one thing to another, like putting me on my belly, then on my back, then holding me up. A rule of thumb: m o v e t w i c e a s s l o w. But better wait, hold your horses and observe me first. Perhaps I’d want to communicate a few things at the same time and you can read only one if you act too fast. Let me connect to the world before you intervene.
Have confidence in me that I can handle the truth
I am crying a lot and this is normal. Well, world is not a paradise, especially for me. I feel like an elderly person, so many times my body is aching! I am still figuring out digestion, my muscles are very weak and I even cannot breathe with my mouth! Think about it, it can be really frustrating and painful, right? But you know, I do not want you to soothe me mindlessly. Well, listening to a boiling kettle from time to time is not a sin, but please, do acknowledge openly that I can suffer and it is real. Do not say: “everything is fine”, when I shout into your ear, that is not! When you are with me and speak the truth about my emotions, I will eventually learn to handle them. I know life does not often smell roses, and I need to learn that darker side of my emotions as well. So be brave and compassionately speak the truth with me.
And if sometimes it all gets tough for you, and you feel lost, just keep in mind:
You are never a third wheel, and I also want you to win my tiny heart.
Your baby daughter – Tosia