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The first month of parenthood is all about doing whatever you can to keep the baby from crying. You learn when to feed him, when to change him, when to rock him to sleep, and when to pass him off to your spouse. However, once the baby smiles for the first time, all that changes. It becomes all about doing whatever you can to get him to smile and laugh.|
His personality started revealing itself in the second month. When we tried to burp him, he screamed bloody murder. When we sat around and watched television, he stared at the glowing box and zoned out right alongside us. And when we bathed him, he delighted in being temporarily naked. Taking him to see Aunt Marion (Amelia’s mother’s aunt), having friends over, and getting him out of the house to see new people showed us that he likes strangers; he was only shy for about ten seconds.
He and Mia (our cat) even seemed to come to terms with each other. When we first brought Tommy home, Mia regarded him as a strange intruder. She wasn’t mean or vindictive, but she was obviously jealous. By the second month, though, Mia accepted her place, only showing concern when Tommy would get upset. This was often amusing, because if I was holding the baby, Mia would walk up to me, put her front paws on my arm, and meow softly, as though she were offering assistance or advice. As for Tommy, he would look at Mia from time to time, but I’m not sure he knew what the cat was.
There were a few little things we weren't prepared for. He was too young to play with any toys; if we put something in front of him, he just ignored it, preferring to stare at the lights on the ceiling or glance around wildly. He also had some constipation issues and recurring gunk in one of his eyes, but those were hardly major problems. He got sick once, but it lasted for less than a day and didn't seem to bother him much. As new parents, naturally, it bothered us a whole lot more.
All things considered, the second month was definitely easier than the first. Amelia evened out, Tommy was even more laid back, and I was getting the hang of all the multitasking.
By the time Valentine’s Day rolled around, we had plenty to celebrate. For many, many years, Valentine’s Day was a point of strong contention for me. Somewhere there is even a video of me on stage, dressed as Elvis, and drunkenly explaining why the holiday is evil. And while I still don’t think of Valentine’s Day as a time for romantic love to blossom, I am more than willing to celebrate it by dressing a baby in a silly outfit and sending pictures to friends and family. Fatherhood, apparently, can make you weird.
Amelia and I started to realize how lucky we were to have such a good baby. He started sleeping through the night without much interruption—which was wonderful—and he stopped screaming in the evening hours. He still had his tantrums, of course, but they never lasted more than ten minutes. By comparison, one of his many hiccupping sessions (none of which bothered him) lasted closer to fifteen.
Put simply, Tommy was—and is—a dream. Parenthood slowly started getting more fun by the second month, and that is a tribute to what a wonderful little boy our Tommy is.