The number of surprises I’m now subject to as a parent is difficult for a person like me, a planner at heart. I’ve gotten a little better about hating surprises as I have aged; for instance, I will now go to a movie without first watching previews and I’ll buy a book without glancing at the first few pages to get a feeling for whether I’ll like the style of writing. But I still looked at my baby registry on weekly basis before my shower to see what people were buying!
No matter how much I read, or how many other parents I talk to, my kid always manages to surprise me. Aside from the naturally unpredictable nature of children, it probably has a lot to do with the fact that Jack is very much his father’s son and very little like me. He is the spitting image of Joe, has his easy-going personality, and even reacts in the same way as Joe when angry (most notably: hitting an object that he just ran into, as if it was the object’s fault). This was a surprise to me because I was SURE I would end up with a kid just like me – a real pain in the ass. But no, the kid is like Joe, and I will be nervous about having another one because surely a second will not be like this one, and will surprise me even more!
Jack doesn’t seem to be feeling well today, and he’s been whining for “mil” (milk) for most of it. We’ve nursed a lot, and he has mostly ignored all other offerings of food. He went down easily for a two-hour nap this afternoon, stayed up for about four hours and then indicated he was ready for bed. I can’t remember the details exactly of how we figured this out but I know it involved him laying down in the middle of the living room. I readied him for bed, he said goodnight to daddy, and then we went to lay down.
He nursed for about 10 minutes, then we laid there for another five. When he was still thrashing and standing up, I decided to take myself out of the room. I stood up and Jack flung himself at me and hugged me. Then I laid him down, pulled the covers up, gave him a kiss, told him good night and walked out. I stood outside the door for about five minutes listening and I didn’t hear a thing. I exited to the living room for a bit, then returned to check on him and turn on the baby monitor. Jack was sound asleep.
So, yeah, surprise surprise. The kid tells us he wants to sleep, and then he actually goes to bed all by himself. Fucking amazing! I’ll never get used to this.