We’ve known each other for 7 weeks now. I’m not sure what you know me as… Am I the bearded loud one? The fat one? The hairy one? The one I get given to when mum’s had it up to here? The one that doesn’t have milk so what’s the point of him? I suppose that for the purposes of this address I will refer to myself simply as “dad”, it’s what your brother calls me and I’ve gotten quite attached to the term.
You know, I’ve known you for longer than my shortest relationship. Back in uni I went out with a girl for all of a week once, then she called it off. You can’t call it off, you poor thing. Mostly because you can’t talk, making calling anything off difficult, but also because a father-daughter relationship is not really ‘call-off-able’. You’re stuck with me.
First of all I want to say sorry. I’m sorry if I try games/funny faces/noises/particular holds etc…. with you that worked on your brother and you hate them. I honestly can’t help it. Don’t feel too short changed though, for each thing I did that your brother actually enjoyed, there were plenty that he hated too. I once managed to scare him so much with a variation of “peekaboo” that I made him cry. The worst part of that story is that all I could do was burst out laughing.
I’m going to make mistakes, and that some of them will not be enjoyable. I have managed, so far, to avoid connecting your head with door frames, this is an improvement on my first bash at parenting – pun intended. I will also sometimes not know what you want. I will give you to your mum to feed when you want a nappy change, I will try to change your nappy when you want to go to sleep and I will try to rock you to sleep when all you need is a good burp. I will try to burp you when all you want is to be up against my chest. I will try to keep these misunderstandings to a minimum, but my minimum will be greater than zero, it is unavoidable I am afraid. Please forgive me.
I am also trying my hardest to get used to you as, I am sure, you are doing exactly the same thing with me. I know you like to look at things, especially lights and colourful things. I know you like exploring “near and far”. I know you like to grip things in your tiny hands (which grip like pincers by the way). I know you like to be upright most of the time. I know you like the view of the world from up high. I know you find your brother fascinating. I know you like to be held against a chest, and you like to be kept warm.
I know you don’t like dirty nappies, you’re a bit fussy in that regard. This is taking some getting used to for me, your brother didn’t give a crap – pun intended – leaving me a bit slow on the uptake. Ironically I know you don’t like nappy changes either, maybe it because you don’t like things getting too breezy downstairs. I know you don’t like the cold, very different to me.
Of course likes and dislikes is only part of the picture. There’s much we have to learn about each other, it’s part of the adventure.
I’ll try to make it as fun as possible. I’ll try to make sure you know you are loved and you can count on your dad. I’ll also try to make sure your brother doesn’t body slam you or sit on your face… too much….
So, with all that in mind, I want to say thanks. Thanks for the chance to raise you and to get to know you. Thanks for the smiles you give me every so often. Thanks for the chance to hold you and watch you as you sleep on my arms. Thanks for the chance to love you.