Well, I know its been way too long for this blog to come out and I apologize but I have been trying to figure out this daddy job. Without sight, it involves quite a bit more trial and error as well as attention. There is no glancing over the shoulder from the room next door to see what he has in his hands or mouth or how far he has moved from in just the past few seconds. The use of facial expressions to determine what he is trying to convey is off the table unless of course I get right up in his grill like the college football coach after making a bonehead play. With this said, I expect in a year or two that Kennan will ask, “Daddy, why are you always up in my face?” As my vision continues to decline, I am beginning to rely more on the sounds and scents of babyhood.
Baby Kennan is a kid with a personality and that is good. He lets you know how he is thinking. He grunts, moans, cackles, giggles, babbles, thumps on occasion and pitter patters. Before placing him down in any room I make sure that I know what toys are in the room as I often use the sounds from the toys to know where he is. If I am out of sight for too long I often hear a pitter patter on the hard wood floors followed by an eager drawn out groan of excitement. If for some reason I don’t get the above cues that Kennan is vigorously attempting to get to his daddy than I can just walk in his direction and I am sure to feel the trail of newly excreted drool on the floor. There is a reason that we have nicknamed him “Bulldog” and its not because he’s fat and pudgy.
It seems that just when I learn his little routine it changes and I start over again. The typical pattern is I am awaken each morning at 6 AM on the dot either by screaming from Kennan in his crib most likely because he is hungry or by our furry family “Grouchy Old Man” Retina barking/wining because he wants fed or Gunther thumping around like a bunny in an XXXL size body. Immediately, I rescue Kennan from the inprisonment of the baby crib, walk through the grenade field of toys and other trash that he likes better than his toys and attempt to put the puzzle pieces of a baby bottle together all while holding the recently woken bear. Raised dots on the side of his bottle mark the 6oz mark as I am unable to read any of the labels and I use the old drop of milk on the wrist technique for temperature. Once the little kiddo either drinks the whole bottle or decides he doesn’t want it and starts blowing raspberries I know he is done and then it is time to go to the war zone (aka. play area). My normal routine is to leave him in the war zone with some of his favorite trash (boxes, foam, bubble wrap and newspapers) while I make my breakfast and a pot of coffee. As I do this I often here drum-like pounding or bashing of toys together followed by excited babbling. On occasion I hear the thump of Kennan’s head or bottom knocking the floor which is followed by either laughing because he thinks that hitting his head is funny or crying. Within 15 minutes of playing I go and smell his bottom and typically there is a nice scent of vinegar and its time to change the diaper.
One of my favorite things to do with Kennan is sit in front of him and make the sounds of barn yard animals. I may not see the exact facial expression that he is making but I know when I hear his little giggles he has a huge smile on his face and those are his favorites. At this point he loves the Oink of the pig and the croaking frog the best. Much of the time when I am making these animal noises there is silence in the room as I am sure he is wondering what the heck his daddy is doing. It is my hope that in the near future I will have a little friend to oink and croak along with me and we can make some good tunes.
I have made it one of my goals in his life to everyday do something that makes him totally start cracking up in laughter. Not just make him smile but rather billow into a continuous flurry of giggles that he seems to be unable to control. As you can imagine that this involves a little bit of work and creativity as the same trick that worked yesterday is probably not going to work again today. Lately, I have begun to get down next to him in the starting blocks for the 50yd crawl dash and we have been racing. I typically get out of the blocks faster than him but let me tell you that kid can get moving when he gets excited. He initially thought this was very funny when I got down next to him in the blocks but now he doesn’t giggle as much. I just attribute this to the fact that he is now seeing it as a competition. As drool comes rushing out of his mouth he is now saying, “bring it on daddy!”
Every day is a new day as a Blind Baby Daddy and I am sure that the sounds and smells are only going to grow and become even louder in the near future. I hope you will continue to join along in my Blind Baby Daddy journey and please chime in on Facebook or via message if there are any specific topics that you would like to hear more about with respect to being a daddy while also being blind. In the meantime, I will try to become more frequent in sharing my Blind Baby Daddy moments.