oh Erin, she is just adorable!
I am going to ask dh about things we could have done differently with Tain so that he felt more connected. He isn't home right now or I would have an answer for you. Honestly, I think it depends on the temperment of the baby. Tain was very soothed and attached to me and not to dh for most of his first year. Dh did well when Tain was in a good mood, but not at fussy times, etc. IMO, while I hated to watch dh feel helpless and like a failure, I thought that that baby being really bonded to me was more important. It was more important to teach Tain that his needs would be met immediately than for dh to feel like superdad. It was a bit of a strain on our marriage, but I told dh that he gets to be #1 parent the rest of his life, I only get the first 2 years! (And so far, it looks that way
). The one thing we could both do equally is change diapers, but also, Tain was high need and he would only go to sleep by walking in the sling for really long periods of time. Dh and I traded off that "chore" (I hate to call it that, but you know what I mean). It was wonderful to have a break from the crying (we walked him outside since our apt was too tiny to get a good stride) and to know that dh was just as good as me for that. The bonding will come with time, I think. It isn't instinctive like it is with women, it is something they learn-both baby and daddy. In the beginning, most dads will tell you that they don't FEEL a whole lot (of course they won't admit it at the time, but in hindsight that tends to be the trend), but that they learn to love and know their baby with time. Have you tried to tell your dh how Lily's crying makes you feel? It is such an intense emotion that it makes us do and say some crazy things.
This time around, I think it will be similar, especially if Rowan has a similar temperment. But this time, Tain needs dh so I think that will help smooth the road. I think having the reassurance of Tain as he is now is going to help smooth over the lack of bonding at the beginning of Rowan's life, if that makes any sense. It is really hard for dads, our culture tells them they should feel just like we do when their child is born and the truth is that they aren't really wired for that. So on top of bumbling around more, they also carry this guilt.
On a side note, in a New Beginnings a few years ago there was an article (I think it was called "the Baby Wipe Bath"). Basically it talked about the mom being sick and asking the dad to give the baby a bath. When she went into the room, she discovered dad giving baby a bath with baby wipes on the changing table. As she stood in the doorway about to correct her dh, she realized that both baby and dad were having a good time, baby was getting clean, and it really wasn't hurting anyone. She discovered that her dh will always do things differently than her, but that different didn't automatically mean wrong. I had that article on our bulletin board for a long time, a reminder that dh would not always (okay, rarely) do things the way I would do them, but that it didn't mean my way was right and his was wrong. I try to look at whether or not it is detrimental to our lives and if it isn't, I just let it go. Obviously Tain is not the worse for wear yet!
Well, dh is off picking up my mom at the airport right now, Kirsten will be here tonight. I am so excited that it has worked out well so far!
Anyone know if they still make those play sewing machines? I remember them as a child but don't recall ever seeing them as an adult. My mil bought be a bedazzler for kicks from a yard sale and Tain likes to pretend it is a sewing machine. I would love to get him a play one but don't know where to look. I tried google but all it came up with was antique toy sewing machines-not exactly what I am looking for.
Seedling-I was just thinking that I couldn't remember who in our group I had sold dipes to! Glad that you are getting use out of them, makes me feel proud in a vicarious sort of way.
Well, I should struggle with combing Tain's hair-so glad my mom is here as I want her to give him his first haircut. It is so matted in the back and he positively throws a fit if I try to brush it. Arg.