Mon | Oct 14, 2019

Defining daddy with the Morrison code

Published:Sunday | June 16, 2019 | 12:10 AMKrysta Anderson - Gleaner Writer

“Prior to my son being born, the gravity of what was to come didn’t really hit me,” Senior blender at Appleton Estate Jamaica, David Morrison shared. It wasn’t until the first ultrasound that it all became real for the new dad.

Being a first-time father brought him nothing but joy and excitement. From basking in the glow of his girlfriend, now wife, making sure she was taken care of, going with her to the doctor’s visits, getting water when she needed it, to hearing his baby’s heartbeat for the first time, he enjoyed it all. Morrison even relished the shopping moments, confessing that his love for his unborn son took him a little overboard when it came to necessities.

“Between the crib and the other essentials, there were so many non-essentials that, to this day, are in a drawer in Kai’s dresser.”

Once Kai came into the picture, Morrison’s life changed for the better.

“Fatherhood means the world to me. It means I have another human being that I am responsible for, that I will always love more than myself, someone that I will care for, raise, teach, provide for and nurture,” he told Outlook.

Holding his son for the first time and hearing his first cry are memories that Morrison says he will cherish forever.

“The first time he said ‘Daddy’, took his first steps, and the look he gave his mother one day when she didn’t feed him on time, are also among my favourite memories.”

But with all the wonderful experiences, there were a few moments that proved challenging. The most taxing of them all was Kai’s sleeping patterns. Morrison was on the night shift for close to the first year of his child’s life. So, while Mommy rested peacefully, Daddy applied the ‘Morrison code’, learning lessons of strategic planning. The relay of warming up Kai’s bottle, feeding and then burping him in the shortest possible time so he would fall asleep quickly, was a race this parental athlete could not have trained for. He even recalls a night when Kai just would not go back to sleep.

“I walked about 20 miles in the house that night, watched baby television shows, hoping and praying that he would fall asleep. I was rescued at about 5 a.m., that morning.”

It was music to Morrison’s ears when his paediatrician advised to leave the baby alone at nights, except when wet and hungry, and in three nights, Kai was sleeping through the night like a baby.

IMPORTANCE OF DISCIPLINE

Patience is really a virtue when it comes to dealing with children. And that’s a code Morrison lives by. And giving Kai a great dad to not only look up to, but to be there for him, is something that Morrison stands by, because he had that in his life growing up.

“My father also taught me the importance of discipline. It’s very easy to spoil a child, but this does them no favours in life, because the world will not spoil them. It’s important to help them to understand right from wrong, understand that they cannot always have their own way, and that they will not always get everything that they want.”

He continued, “My dad also taught me about the importance of education. Both parents sacrificed a lot to ensure we all had a solid education and made sure we understood the importance of school to our futures. As the first-generation Knight (St George’s College old boy) in the family, he taught me the importance of tradition, so my son has St George’s College to look out for as well, even though he doesn’t know it yet.”

For quality time, Morrison likes teaching his son how to play games on his tablet, teaching him how to swim when they go to the beach, showing him how to drive his remote-control car, and more. But what he enjoys is reading him bedtime stories and having him fall asleep curled up in his arms – there is no greater feeling, he says.

His advice to new fathers is to cherish the opportunity that you have. Enjoy every moment and do not miss out on the chance to bond with your child. Your children will need you in their lives and you need them, and you should never forget that.

“If you are a real father, you will naturally understand that your life will not be the same and that they (your children) should come first. Be patient, as they are learning as they go. They will test you, but you are there to guide them and be there for them. It will not be easy, but it will be the most rewarding thing you will ever do in your life, loving your child and having them love you back.”

krysta.anderson@gleanerjm.com