Delayed Gratification

Being a doctor is almost certainly equal to being an expert on delayed gratification. You can’t do a minimum of 11 years of college, medical school and residency training for essentially no reward without a healthy sense of delayed gratification. So I guess I should rephrase that. During training to get where I am, one must have a healthy sense of delayed gratification.

I’m not sure how long that lasts once doctors actually get to the point where they are making the much awaited for salary. You often see them quickly get new cars, new houses, etc. I’ve always been a bit of a tight wad and not really into cars, so that sort of possession accumulation hasn’t been that much of an issue for me. Most specialist make 2-5 x what I make so maybe that’s who I’m thinking of. But I definitely feel my delayed gratification skills fading. For the first time in my life I usually have the money for what I want or need, which is a first. It makes you soft from a delayed gratification stand-point. Why this is relevant now is being a father (and really probably any parent for that matter) requires a healthy bit of delayed gratification. I mean, let’s face it, being the parent of a 2 month old is not exactly that “fun”.

There are moments of fun, my daughter is very social and alert about 1-1.5 hours per day. During that window she smiles at you, goos and coos, and it’s wonderful. Then that window closes and she will cry for an hour because she’s dying of tiredness but refuses to go to sleep. I would not trade my work for Dorothy’s work at this point. She spends much of her day calming, soothing and cooing to the baby when little Ruth not in the mood to do anything. So 23 hours a day the baby sleeps, feeds, cries and poops. Not exactly the “good life”. Dorothy actually does get some “fun” with some of the feedings and just watching her precious baby sleeping, but I’m not sure fathers are programmed that way.

My special “daddy bonding time” as designated by mommy is bath time. Bath time usually sounds somewhere between a siren going off and a hysterical hyena as my daughter bawls through the entire thing. Not exactly “fun”. I think my baby stinks a little bit because I find excuses to not give her a bath because 15 minutes of solid bawling is so un-fun for me. Being a parent requires a significant amount of patience. That’s not something I’ve usually been accused of having in abundance. When I try to get the baby asleep I frequently pass the baby off to Dorothy 5 minutes before she goes to sleep but at times I just don’t have that last 5 minutes in me. I also really think that the baby falls asleep for Dorothy better than me, though Doro doesn’t agree with that.

I’m looking forward to tea parties and taking my daughter out on errands when she can talk and tell me stories and play games. I’m looking forward to cuddling, playing basketball, looking at grasshoppers in the yard, playing catch, reading books, all that “fun” stuff. This part….is about patience and delayed gratification. I’ve been dusting off my delayed gratification but it’s tough, I thought I had put that behind me. Dorothy wants to do this how many more times?!?

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Published in: on August 7, 2010 at 10:57 pm  Leave a Comment  

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