Observations of a new father

This is clearly not the best title for this small write-up because if it was it would have been something like “Important lessons learnt..” or “What you should know…”. Something really assertive that would have been a more, let’s just call it compelling click. But it is not and here we are. The reason for this is simple. I do not think that what I have experienced or rather any father could have experienced in mere 4 months can be lessons that can be shared with others. I will go to the extent that this domain, parenting, is almost always learned by self-discovery and no about of reading parenting books and watching youtube videos will prepare you for what will actually happen in your life. Hence there are all what they truly are. Observations. Observations of the impact and the changes that have been brought in my life by my baby girl. Although one can say that there is always some learning in all experience, as you read ahead, I do not make any such claims. These are just my observations.

The moment a child enters your life any semblance of control over our own life is the first thing that goes out the window. You might be the champion of men and the leader of leaders in your life before but any handle or grasp you had over your life choices is the first thing to go. You have made a plan to go out? Too bad the baby isn’t in the mood to go. Do you need to wake up early? Think again. Even basic tasks like grocery shopping are now dealt with major planning sessions where you need to consider the CEO’s (Chief Everything Officer) moods and plans on every step. These are the simplest examples that come to mind. Every single decision in life is now prefaced with how the baby is going to change things. One could say that this is true for all major life events - marriage, new job, and deaths. Sure but the fact that the other party here is a baby makes every discussion rather rigid. Now it might seem that this “observation” is nothing but a rant and that would be partly true. What this actually means to me is that now I do not make rigid plans in life. I have now learned to be fluid with plan and goals keeping clearly in my mind how easily things could change when the time comes. We all know that life is nothing but moving from one change to another but most of us forget that in the repetitive rhythm of life. The baby reminds you of how easily basic assumptions of life can fall apart.

People say that you fall in love when your child holds your finger with her itty bitty hand for the first time. And that is what most parents-to-be expect to happen. But this does not work like this for all of us. You do fall in love with your child and you will love her more than anything in this world. Eventually. The “love at first sight” does not happen for all of us. Most of us actually. And that’s ok. More than OK. That’s natural. That’s how it happened for us for all the people we love in our lives - parents, siblings, friends, and lovers. We spent time with them and soon we were in love. And here is a new person who has made a sudden, although announced, appearance who we are supposed to love from minute 0. It’s a big ask and if it does not happen it’s ok. Today my daughter is the most precious thing in the world for whom I or my wife would do absolutely anything just to see her smile once. It has happened. It just took some time.

And here’s the last, quirky one. Actually, this is not even my observation but of a friend who shared it with me a few years back. If babies weren’t cute, we would have stopped having them a long time back. I realize that the information relating to procreation and the need for it is literally hard coded in our DNA but human beings today are sufficiently evolved to take a look and go “Huh! I don’t have to have to procreate. My species is clearly not in the danger to go extinct if I decide to not have babies”. On paper, before you have the baby, the cons of the decision far outweigh the pros. We, my friend and I, feel that non-cute babies would have been a final push for us in the direction of not choosing to procreate. This cuteness also, I feel, is an evolutionary thing. I think evolution dictates that I feel like giving up my earth and my sky just to see my baby smile. Just once.

And Bullets (Royal Enfield) are loud AF. This is truly a new realisation for me.

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