On fatherhood

My engineering college friend and my blog’s first subscriber Navneet, after ignoring my request for 2 years, shares his moving and humorous experience of becoming a father in this GUEST POST.

I finally realized that it was the centipede effect that has been the reason for my procrastination of Pranav’s offer to write a guest post on fatherhood. Wikipedia describes that Centipede effect occurs when a normally automatic or unconscious activity is disrupted by consciousness of it or reflection on it.

So, today without reflecting much I will try to write something other than emails. Pranav can tell you that since the last one year the centre of all my conversations has been my son, Shlok. Now why would he not be, after all I had been habituated to all sorts of situations – odd roommates, funny friends, peacefully restless friends but not to a SON.

Talk of being prepared. How would you prepare for times when he doesn’t want to eat or drink anything for a whole day, wants your continuous attention and spills water on your laptop? (Yes, I had to get the motherboard replaced.) Changing diapers at odd midnight hours seem to be a cakewalk compared to making him open his mouth and eat few morsels of food!

My son is quite different when it comes to eating. It’s not that he doesn’t like healthy food like most babies. He doesn’t like eating anything – chocolates, ice-cream; it’s probably the most difficult puzzle to figure out what he likes. That calls for certain talent, which I must confess, I don’t have; and I thank God that my wife isn’t as bad as me.

And, then comes the milestones that he must achieve as he grows up. No matter what anyone says but a delay in his teething or standing upright when others of his age start doing so makes you go nuts. Well, Shlok has started walking now – he does it with a cautious gait, but that’s taken out a lot of worrying we did.

My biggest conundrum was deciding a name for Shlok. It took me 6 months to finally decide on a name for him – I used to tell my wife that I didn’t want my son to grow up and not find his name cool and then blame us for that! (I still am not sure whether he will like this name. :))

Phew! Well, the most difficult part of being a father, I think, is realizing that what you do now will stay with him for his life. Yes, the term responsibility is something I never understood before I took my little bundle of peeing joy in my hands. (He cried and peed as soon as the doctor gave him to me).

As time has progressed, I realize that it is the time for us to enjoy each moment and stop worrying about every little thing. Coming home and seeing Shlok run and hug me is absolutely priceless.

The best part of becoming a father, however, is that it makes you respect your parents all the more. Bringing me and my two sisters up with so much love and affection is a benchmark which I hope I will be able to live up to.

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