It’s been a long time since I did an update here, so I thought I’d give a dad’s eye view of the last month or so.
Milo turns 6 months tomorrow, and that means we’re crossing a big milestone.. or maybe we’ve just passed it.
I think it’s pretty common for dads to spend the first 3 or 4 or 6 months waiting around wondering when their kid is going to get fun… at least that’s how it is for the first kid. Sure, babies are cute and all, but for most guys I know, the cuteness factor keeps you occupied for 3 or 4 minutes… maybe 5 for the guys way into babies.
With the second kid, the tables are a little turned – especially if your first is as social and rambunctious as Holden. These days I don’t see much of Milo because Holden wants or needs constant attention. I don’t think it’s any kind of reaction to having Milo around, I think he just loves to talk.. and the line between want and need is still blurry to him… and to me.
Take today for instance. We all woke up and I took Holden out in the jogging stroller for a run. Normally I take most of my runs alone during the week, before he even wakes up, so that I could be around to get him ready before I go to work myself. I know how much he loves to go out so I decided to delay my run and take him with me.
When he was a baby, he would babble a lot during the runs. As he learned to talk, he’d point things out – “Bird! Bird! Bird! Bird! Bird!” But these days it’s more of a full-on conversation. Now don’t get me wrong I love all his questions and comments – it’s tremendously fun helping him learn about… well, the whole world really. Yesterday we spent a good 10 minutes on the word “damp” and it’s subtle difference from “wet.” But it’s kinda hard when you’re also pushing him along at 7 or 8 miles per hour.
Here is today’s conversation. It’s 20 minutes in, and we’re approaching a blue emergency phone, which they have near some parks in Berkeley in case a mountain lion sprays you or you spot an unlicensed republican within city boundaries.
“What’s the blue thing?”
“Phone..” *puff* *puff*
“I wanna see it.”
(we slow, and veer near it)
“That’s not a phone!”
“Yes, *puff*, it is”
“No, that’s not a phone! Wanna see it”
(we stop, so I can explain)
“Where’s the phone?”
“You push this button here, and then talk”
“I wanna push the button”
“No, we only do it if you get hurt”
“If you have an owie”
“Yes, an owie”
“Or if you fall down”
“Yes, that too”
“Or if a bee stings me”
“Yes, well, no if that happens you probably shouldn’t push this button”
“Mommy will fix that”
“Yes, or daddy”
(as we’ve gotten off topic, I start us rolling again)
“Where the phone go?”
“It’s behind us”
“I wanna see it”
“Where’s the button?”
..and so forth.
On today’s run, which typically takes me about 40 minutes, we stopped once to see some really cool graffiti, once to watch diggers where they’re building a new grocery store, and once in each direction as we crossed the railroad tracks, to wait for trains. All told it was a 40 minute run, and Holden ran at least half a mile himself running from one end of the graffiti wall to the other, and back.
We get home and Milo is down for his morning nap. By the time he wakes up, I’m feeding Holden breakfast, and Heather’s feeding Milo in the other room. And when Holden is done eating, he wants to listen to his bluegrass while I read him a half dozen books while he interrupts me on every page with a new non sequitur about trains or poop or jumping. (But if we stop reading, that’s not acceptable either)
So Milo just gets me in bits and pieces, when I can distract holden with a puzzle or something. On the plus side it means most of the time I spend with Milo is a lot of fun, and usually only lasts 3 to 4 minutes – maybe 5 at the most.. at least until holden comes over with a footlong plastic guitar and says “Daddy play this guitar, Holden will play the electric guitar”
And you know what? These 6 months have flown, at least Milo-wise. I can’t believe he’s ready to start eating some “solid” food!