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Leo Paré - Red Deer Advocate

Leo Paré is the News and New Media Editor for the Red Deer Advocate. Contact him at

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New baby makes Christmas special and exhausting


On the morning of Dec. 11, my wife Amanda gave birth to a perfect little creature weighing 3.8 kg — or eight pounds, seven ounces for you non-metric folks.
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Red Deer Advocate

Our second baby has arrived safe and sound and I once again find myself in a state of blissful fatigue.

On the morning of Dec. 11, my wife Amanda gave birth to a perfect little creature weighing 3.8 kg — or eight pounds, seven ounces for you non-metric folks.

After much back and forth, we decided on the name Rylan, a name we both felt was unique but not bizarre or overly trendy.

After a couple of days in the Red Deer hospital, mom and baby were given the all-clear to go home and so began life as a two-child household.

Throughout the pregnancy, we frequently wondered aloud about how our 20-month-old son Grayson would adapt to the arrival of a new sibling.

It appears we’ve got a bit of a sibling rivalry brewing when it comes to Mommy’s attention.

For the first two days, Grayson followed Amanda around the house like a lost puppy and the slightest provocation often resulted in tears and wailing. At bed time, Daddy was not an acceptable substitute for stories and tuck-in time.

We were pleased to see that Grayson was keen to hold his new baby brother, but he was equally keen to poke and pinch him.

Just over a week in, Grayson appears to have accepted that the baby is here to stay and is slowly making peace with the new arrangement. I suspect we won’t be totally out of the woods for another 18 years or so. ...

Although Rylan is an exceptionally quiet infant, he does require feeding every two hours, which means Amanda is back to sleeping in 1.5-hour intervals, as she was for the first three months of Grayson’s life.

Admittedly, Amanda has the toughest role in all this, but I too am greatly inconvenienced by sleepy guilt when listening to her get up with a squawking baby in the middle of the night. ...

Fortunately, my Mom was able to stay with us for a few days, doing most of the cooking and spending time with Grayson when Amanda and I were busy with the newborn. Her presence helped immensely as we made the transition into this two-child reality.

Once again, Amanda is demonstrating that she was born to be a mom, taking expert care of the baby while being sure make Grayson (and me) feel equally important and loved.

A couple of nights ago, I prepped Grayson for bed and sat with him for story time as Amanda nursed Rylan in the next room.

Grayson went to the shelf and selected his book for the night — Love You Forever by Robert Munsch. Not knowing what I was getting into, I began reading.

Those of you familiar with this particular book already know that I had tears blurring my vision as I read the final few pages.

When the story was over, I shut off the light and held Grayson on my lap as he drifted off too sleep.

Feeling ridiculously sentimental, I held him tight and thought about my wife, my two young boys, my parents, my siblings and all the amazing events that have unfolded in my life over the past few years.

It’s often said that time speeds up when you have children of your own.

So I’m doing my best to savour every moment.

Leo Paré is the Advocate’s online editor. Contact him by email at or follow him on Twitter at


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