On a daily basis, my son moves me to tears, makes me laugh uncontrollably and terrifies me, writes Ben Keenan.
His most recent achievement is one that causes me more alarm than anything else he has done in five months and has turned me from a confident and fearless new dad into an exhausted block of neuroses. And what is it that has caused this transformation you ask? The boy who once upon a time would remain situated wherever you placed him can now roll over and leap like an excited dolphin from any surface he happens to be lying on.
Watching our son develop is without a doubt the most rewarding part of being a new parent but the randomness of his movements these days turns a simple cuddle into a fight with an amateur wrestler Jen and I have dubbed ‘The Wriggler’. I’ll be holding the boy so he can stand on my legs and when he’ll suddenly try to pole-vault out of my grip to show everyone in the vicinity this brand new skill he has acquired. Quiet bonding opportunities we once shared when I would change his nappy and sing to him now resemble a weary fisherman trying to keep an agitated tuna fish in his boat.
Dressing the boy, which was once so simple, is now as easy as putting pants on a bull in the middle of a stampede. And don’t even get me started on bath time! I can, and will handle anything and everything the boy throws at me with absolute pleasure but I must admit his strength and determination astounds me. I am amazed that no matter how many times he fails to achieve what he wants to do, he will keep going until it happens. Whether this is a rollover from his back to his tummy, an attempt to pick up and eat a sofa cushion bigger than he is or get as much of his foot and leg into his mouth as humanly possible, there is simply no stopping him and, despite the occasional fear-induced heart palpitation, I couldn’t be more proud of the wonder that is my son