Having a new baby is an exercise of stamina and coping capability. I’m not a father myself but my brother has two children and it’s always surprised me that he didn’t lose his sanity in the process of raising them from babies to the ten year olds that they are now. It’s like having two completely different children – babies are their own species, if you ask me. The first thing that I bought them was a video baby monitor after I visited him for a week and witnessed how often he would run into their room at the slightest of noises. He’d bolt right out of bed and dash down the hall as if the entire house was on fire or someone was in their room preparing to snatch them. He’d be dragging through the next day like a dead man but still somehow capable of doing the dad thing with his newborns.
At that point, it’s like he was on automatic. We would sit in the mornings sipping our coffee and I’d be chatting away with him looking glazed offering up half nods in responses even long after I had stopped talking. One morning after seeing him in such a state is when I made the decision to get him the baby monitor. They were out so I hooked it up as a surprise, even e-mailing him the app that he would be able to use to watch them if the babysitter was there. The relief on his face when he saw what I had given him was accompanied by the welling of tears; not joy, but relief. He couldn’t explain why he hadn’t though of it myself but I knew why; there’s no time to think of luxury items when you’re a new dad. There’s no thinking at all, it seems.