Baby Versus The World

    Baby made her first long distance trip back in August. I was supposed to be out of town for work and while I was gone, the wife went back to the east coast for a family emergency. We didn't plan for it to work out that way but it happened. The dog went to his normal boarding home for three weeks and we all went our separate ways. It was tough.
   My wife and baby left before I did so I had to see them off. I don't know how many tears I had to choke back while kissing them both and saying goodbye. I'm not exactly an emotional guy, but for some reason it was so hard to watch them leave. Right there, in the Airport terminal my whole world was waddling up the stairs, baby strapped to the front, baby bag in tow.
   The whole afternoon was filled with periodic text messages from my wife about how the baby was handling large crowds, airplanes, changes in air pressure, etc. It was kind of cool to think that my baby was only three months old and already making big trips in this big world. I think I was probably eight years old when I went on my first plane ride, so this was pretty cool to me.

  For all you soon to be dads out there, you will not understand how awesome it is to see your kid experience things for the first time until it happens. I never would have thought that something as simple as a mirror could offer so much entertainment for a four month old. That's just one example.
The swing we have has a mobile right above the basket. It has some butterflies and animals that rotate around this mirrored ball. I usually put her in the swing after making sure all her essentials are met and it's time for me to do something around the house or if she is tired of cuddling and wants to play with her stuffed squid or burp cloth.
   The other day, I let her chill out in the swing and went to go wash some dirty bottles. The dog was sitting on the sofa, as usual, and out of nowhere I hear this screech. It was a super high pitched squeal and it scared the jeebus out of me. I thought something was wrong and immediately looked over to see what was going on. To my surprise , she was absolutely intrigued with her reflection. She had her squid in one hand and would babble to herself and apparently she's a regular stand up comedian in her own world because she would babble a little and then start laughing. She did this for a good twenty minutes before I picked her up to get her ready for a diaper change.
 It amazes me how wrapped up we are as adults and most importantly Dads. We bury our noses in everything but the little things in life. I find myself holding my daughter on my lap and playing with her, but my eyes are on the TV show, or on my phone. I have to make sure that I'm giving her my undivided attention or else when she's older she'll feel like I don't care. It's a habit our generation has to break. We grew up without so many of the technologies we have now, but for some reason we are the generation that is the most addicted to it. My baby girl is facing this world without laptops, cell phones, and TV. I should be right beside her facing it with her.

  I want to challenge anyone that reads this blog post to put the electronics away when you get home from work or school. See how much you notice when you aren't distracted by everyone else's bull crap on Facebook or in the News. Get to know your kid and their quirks and let them see yours. Be goofy. Be candid. Just be there.


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