Gay Dad: Growing a Family
By John Jericiau
Our brand new son is already creeping up to the 4-month mark. We are shaking our heads at the way time is just rushing by. What happened to that newborn we just brought home? It seemed that with our two older boys we were in a sleep-deprived fog for much longer than with Dustin. He is already sleeping almost the entire night (at least for the last 10 days), which makes everyone (mainly me) much less grouchy. He will get up for 10-30 minutes and then it’s right back to a deep sleep. All this rest is helping my diet, since I’m not doing my midnight grazing anymore. I haven’t touched boxed cereal in weeks.
Speaking of diets, I am back on one. For the next four weeks I’m going to be extremely committed to a good healthy diet, low in carbs and junk and kid’s food. I’m going to lift some weights to get my muscle mass back up to my glory days. In addition to my normal hour swim or run for the day, I’m going to add either a 5:30-6:30am P90X workout or a stationery bike workout, both which will take place in my garage with the baby monitor on full blast. I really want to fit back into all my pants (and be able to snap the top button) and lose that emerging muffin top. Yes, it looks like men can have muffin tops too.
Dustin smiles from ear to ear when anyone talks to him, but especially his Daddy and Papa. We know quite well that the smile is a primitive reflex installed in babies, designed to maximize their chance of survival. The cuter he looks, the more attention (i.e. food) he gets. He really seems to be a very easygoing guy; he’s so adaptable to his environment that he’s in based on his brothers’ activities (e.g. the swim center, the dojo, the YMCA, or the library). I don’t remember our two older sons being quite this easy, although they are only 8 months apart. I just thank my lucky stars that he goes with the flow. The boys have a seriously grueling activity schedule in addition to their school. Some days I have counted up to ten transfers in and out of the car with the stroller and car seat and bouncing baby boy.
Despite the distraction of a new brother, Devin and Dylan seem to be really thriving. Devin seems like he is really well liked, which makes me happy. He is doing well with reading and math, which really makes me happy. He takes two music classes (violin and Glee) and three sports classes (swimming, karate and basketball) and wants to add tennis to the list but we’re trying to keep him at the current level. It’s difficult, because there are so many fun activities available – activities I never had available to me. I have to hold back because I don’t want to push the kids into things that I like. They have to like them; otherwise it’s a waste of time (and money). We pay a monthly fee in karate and can go to an unlimited number of classes. For a while we were going to up to four classes per week but the boys quickly revolted. We listened and reduced the number to twice per week. Karate seems more enjoyable now. I like karate because they have comfortable tables and free Wi-Fi, so I can get 45 minutes of work done (paying bills, etc.) while keeping one eye on them through the glass walls of the dojo. Most other activities are so short (30 min) and/or require some participation on my part, thereby thwarting any chance of cracking open my laptop. Also the more time we spend at the listed activities, the more people we get to know. The more people one gets to know, the more chatting one does, which eats away the time. Luckily there are so many nice and interesting people who have something in common with you (kids!), and that’s a good thing.
Dylan is also busy with karate and swimming, but is itching to get back into a ballet class. It’s amazing how he is able to take his 68-pound frame through some dance moves. We are trying to feel our way through his list of interests, exposing him to new and exciting challenges. He gets out of school at least two hours earlier than Devin, so he finds himself going on a lot of shopping sprees and errands with Daddy (and Dustin). He seems okay with it as long as he receives a daily consolation prize of his choice.
I’m so thankful for where we are in our lives, and excited for what is yet to come. It’s a blessing and an honor to share this journey with our boys. We wouldn’t want it any other way, except maybe with one more child.