There’s something different certainly happening to your child in this fourth month. The blob stage of the first three months is beginning to fade away, though don’t expect walking around, or helping you out with things around the house or back yard just yet.
There is still a lot of lying around and looking up at you. But there’s been a definite difference. Instead of just staring and scanning around, they actually see you and work to keep eye contact with you. Sort of like what I used to do to my wife to start the wrap up when some relatives moved into that over staying point on a night over.
I remember people constantly telling me, “don’t worry, the whole dadhood/parenthood thing gets easier as they grow up”. While all I really cared about was a healthy little child, those words from many friends and family have been true…so far. Though, the other thing I’ve kept learning from being a parent is the proverbial can hit the fan at a minute’s notice.
When things are going well, enjoy and celebrate it because who bloody knows what tomorrow will bring us (though if the last four months have taught us anything, tomorrow will most likely involve coffee, a time when I stop my two year old from trying to smother my four-month old with love/cushions and a moment when I celebrate someone in our family using the toilet well.)
It’s true, the four month mark is a big deal with a kid. You’re feeling a bit more comfortable with this little human being around. The whole “life has changed forever” thing is still bubbling away, but there’s also a few others things I’ve noticed as a dad.
I present to you, dear reader, the four from month four.
Kids laughing and giggling is addictive.
I bloody lost it this month when I heard the first proper giggles and laugh happen. Just when I thought smiles from Month Two of Dadhood were great, this kid goes and decides to laugh at me.
Granted, I wasn’t actually doing anything, but I’ll still take the laughter. At least there’s someone around who appreciates the hard work and time I put into my dad gags. Or, the time involved in reusing my dad’s dad gags.
The problem that happens when your little human starts laughing is that it’s sort of like crack. Just a little bit can keep you going for hours. Then you find you start looking for it more and more. Eventually, once you come home it’s all you can think about.
Enjoying a chat
As a teacher I’ve come across a fair amount of parents who believe their child is extraordinary and gifted. But seriously, they haven’t met mine.
I swear my newest daughter is genuinely enjoying a chat with me. If we’re not discussing all things Boston Celtics, black holes, the greatness of teaching or what the difference is between a pilsner or lager beer, we’re usually making silly faces and drooling (mainly her, but I can’t give her all the credit).
Wherever our chats take us, I’m so amazed at just how quickly kids start to catch onto turn taking and waiting to respond to something that’s been said.
Whilst I’m still trying to translate what her actual baby sounds mean (didn’t they invent this, or was this just in the Simpsons universe?) having another person join in a conversation around Kyrie Irving’s brilliance as a basketball player is just the best.
Ah, as is the language acquisition and development. Of course.
(Sidenote: any recommendations for great places to get a kids NBA singlet?!)
Dealing with the Benchwarmer Feeling
My first time around being a dad I really wanted to be hands on and involved as much as possible. The only problem was, there wasn’t as much for me to do when our first little human needed feeding. Yes, I was able to jump in with some bottle feeds, but because we were mainly going al naturale, often when our first born starting cracking it it was due to hunger.
I remember feeling like someone on the bench being brought into the game when the star recruit needed a break. So, I bloody dominated my role. 4.30am strolls around the streets, grabbing random cloths and towels for vomits, just hanging around waiting to jump in and have a cuddle. Whatever little jobs could help, I was across them.
For me, I hadn’t realised that our first born wouldn’t come out wanting to wrestle, play, eat food or need life guidance. It was a little bit of a shock how much of a support role it was, which was ridiculous…but still true for that first time as a dad.
As we got to four months this started to change. Whilst the wrestling was still a long way off, with your child going longer between feeds and being a little more active, there are so many more opportunities to jump in and be involved.
The main thing during this fourth month of fatherhood I’ve discovered again is the need to just be around. The fact you’re there, wanting to be around and helping makes a massive impact to all involved – including you.
Kids Discovering Fingers and Hands is great…until it isn’t.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my hands and fingers, and I love that my daughter has discovered them. But, I swear the fourth month unleashes a baby form of possessed hands.
Watching a little child stare wide-eyed as some strange set of hands come down towards her face and rip her dummy out is a weird thing. Especially when she is doing it to herself. For half an hour.
(The best is the look they give you after it has happened. It’s almost like you let it happen, a sort of accusatory stare at you for letting them use their hands to attack themselves. I’m not sure I’ve seen this look in any other situation…besides maybe watching a kleptomaniac in action).
This whole independence thing is great – though it does have its drawbacks at times. Prepare yourself for ridiculous, funny and slightly/really frustrating wake ups while our little legends continue to learn how to use their hands and fingers.
Maybe in Month Five of Dadhood / Fatherhood they will build on this progress and move onto slam dunking or helping prep dinner?