I can’t tell if it’s better to be a Father or a Dad. I guess they’re two different jobs that share multiple responsibilities. I feel my fatherly duties will be to discipline, educate, and provide a roof over my daughter’s head. My dad duties will be showing her how to make chocolate milk, make fart noises with her armpit, and how to tell believable white lie. Being a good dad means trying to be the Cool Dad and being a good father means trying to raise a smart, well rounded, confident young lady. Regardless of the job description, I’ve been doing it now for six months and I’m almost positive I haven’t fucked up my kid yet. Yay for not raising a serial killer (However, Beck has recently started laughing in her sleep. It’s cute now but that’s what insane folks do in the asylum.).
In the grand scheme of life, six months is nothing but when you’re a new parent it’s everything. The early stages of life are similar to watching a time lapse photography clip. She changes right before my eyes every day. It’s a privilege to have front row seats for the show. The newest job responsibility I’ve taken on with Beck is helping put her down to sleep at night. Like everything else, my approach and technique have changed just as much as Beck. I used to play guitar for her. I’m not great at the guitar but I can play her “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” and several Tom Petty songs. Beck loves hearing me make noise but this no longer helps put her to sleep. Not much does actually.
Our current schedule is as follows: I give her a fresh diaper, wrap her in her sleep suit, rock her while reading two books, and then sing her a few songs while putting her in her crib. I love this time with Beck. This is the first time I have ever read a book to a child (not that I was trying before…that would be weird. “Why don’t these goddamn kids want to let me read to them?”). It reminds me of comedy and getting into character. I love taking on voices, playing to the drawings, and really trying to entertain Beck. On multiple occasion I’ve actually knocked myself out while reading to her. If you render yourself to sleep while reading Dr. Suess, I’m pretty sure that means you have a brain injury. “I could not, would not eat them here or there, I could not eat them anywhere. I do not like green eggs and…zzzzzzz.” That has literally happened more than I’d like to admit.
The one thing I’ve discovered after six months of being a parent is that I needed to be a dad. It’s been the most rewarding experience of my life. I look forward to time with her and simply holding her. Every morning we make coffee together while watching Sportscenter. I love feeding her and playing with her. I radiate with joy when she smiles and it pains me to see her unhappy. I enjoy putting Beck and her needs first. These first six months have been the best six months of my life. I have no doubt that Lindsay and I have made mistakes these last months, but everything we have done has been done out of love. We both work hard to provide Beck with the best life possible and I can’t wait to see the person she grows up to be.