Becoming a mom was a big change for me but I guess mother nature had already prepped me for it. The instincts were there and stepping into motherhood was relatively easy and I think I was a mom the moment Pickles was born. Not that I had a choice. I had this baby and he had me and we slowly figured things out.
I can't imagine it must have been the same for R, well not biologically at least. I have watched him slowly step into fatherhood with gingerly toes. I have seen him undergo the different stages, confusion, denial, acceptance and the slow bonding with his newborn son. It was easier for me to handle him as soon as Pickles was handed to me. But for R, he was terribly paranoid at first as he had zero experience carrying babies of that age, or any age for that matter. Slowly but surely, he stepped up, he started to volunteer to carry the baby, burp him or rock him to sleep. In the days when the routine was feed, burp, change, sleep, rinse, lather and repeat, R started to participate more actively and slowly made up his own ways as he went along.
I remember very distinctly this incident that happened when Pickles was about a couple of months old. A close friend was having a birthday that day and R and I decided to go and have lunch with friends. We thought it would be a good change for the both of us. So, we left Pickles with my mum and set off for a couple of hours.
My friend's daughter Xena is our darling. We've all been friends a long time and Xena is comfortable around us. During our lunch that day, Xena kept hopping from lap to lap, taking the time to talk to each one of us. It was during this that she parked herself on R's lap. We continued to eat and at one point, we looked at R and burst into laughter. When he looked at us questioningly, one of us then told him, "R, Xena's a big girl now and doesn't really need to be burped."It was then that R realised he had been unconsciously patting Xena's back like he was burping her. After days and nights of doing just that, it had come to him naturally.
It was then that I started to notice this partner of mine in a different light. He has since then transformed into a Dad, and a great one at that! It just makes my heart melt to see him and Pickles bonding together. Maybe it is my hormones, maybe that is how nature meant it to be but it makes me more fond of him than I ever was.