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Fatherhood: Changing Perspectives

As my daughter nears her four-month “birthday,” I find myself marveling at how much she has changed since she was first born. It’s obvious that she’s growing a lot, but here’s the thing:

Everything we take for granted as adults is new for a baby.

My daughter has “discovered” her hands. She is also “learning” how to laugh.

Think about it. The only time we acknowledge the mere existence of our hands is when something slips out of them or they hurt. Laughing comes so naturally to us as adults that we forget that there was time we didn’t know how.

To take it one step further, do you remember a time when you didn’t know how to communicate with another adult? I’m not talking about a language barrier–over 70% of communication is non-verbal.

Yet there’s the rub. My daughter has no concept of non-verbal communication (beyond smiling). I can’t communicate displeasure with her because she doesn’t know it yet (though she’ll learn soon enough). I can communicate with a smile, and she’ll smile back, but it’s mostly mimicry right now.

Once I came to the realization that my daughter just simply hasn’t learned that sort of thing yet, it changed everything. My patience has increased with the knowledge that it’s just going to take time.

It’s an exciting time to be a dad. Just thought I’d share this tidbit.

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