STAGE 2: Age 0-2 – Awareness
Defining factors: She becomes aware of her mother (the first woman in her life), her father (the first man in her life), and siblings if any. She learns to speak her first words, take her first steps, and regulate bodily functions. She also learns how she fits into the family – whether she is loved, ignored or a burden. Girls tend to concentrate on facial expressions, emotions and speech more than boys.
Observations From 101 Dads of Daughters
- I didn’t have much time for my daughter.
- Because of my work I had plenty of time to spend with her (a few dads).
- I loved holding her and having her fall asleep on me.
- There were some difficult moments—and some amazing ones.
- My daughter had some health issues when she was young.
- In the beginning I didn’t deal with being a dad very well.
- Wow—having twins plus another child is quite a challenge.
I LOVED MAKING FACES AT HER
“I loved holding her, curling her up in my lap with my knees up by a coffee table, letting her cradle in there and making faces at her.”
Craig, thirty-nine year old father of a ten year old son, an eight year old daughter and a fifteen month old son
NO SLEEP FOR DAYS—THEN A TIDAL WAVE OF JOY HIT ME
“I think there were moments when I didn’t display a whole lot of patience—with the whole crying all night and my wife being in total pain, and getting absolutely no sleep for days on end.
[But my daughter] had this spirit that was so radiant. She was—oh man, it’s the tidal wave of love and joy and just beauty. Every day that I experienced her, I just wanted to breathe her into my soul. It’s just so immense, the love. She was just pure love. She was pure love.”
Ray, forty-eight year old computer executive, father of a five year old daughter