A friend of mine put me on the spot and asked me what the best thing about having a baby is. He’s a single guy with no kids and we hadn’t seen each other in months. We were making idle chit-chat. So he asked. It actually didn’t take me long to come up with the answer: the constant happiness.

My response is hilarious to me in a way. Having a baby is a continuous emotional roller-coaster. I’ve had some of my lowest lows as the direct result of having Hailey. (I’ll share my first two months of turmoil in an upcoming post.) But my answer was constant happiness. Not just happiness, but continuous, never-ending, ever-flowing happiness.

Does this mean I’m happy all the time? No. Does this mean Hailey is happy all the time? Not even close. We both still have our meltdowns. Fortunately, Hailey has more than me! It may have been the opposite at one point not too long ago.

Having a baby is similar to a really great vacation and everyday there’s a new wow-factor. Everyday is more spectacular than yesterday. That’s what it’s like for me to watch Hailey. She’s learning so much so quickly. My brain can’t comprehend the speed. I’m in awe of her.

It’s subtle differences one day to the next but still noticeable. It’s that she’s using to flat surfaces to pull herself up when a couple of weeks ago using the couch was a struggle. It’s how she’s moving along furniture so shortly after it had been a huge struggle just to stand. It’s that she finally figured out that the toilet is for pee, not just poop.

It’s exciting to see her learning and growing each day.

Having a baby is like when you surprised a friend with something you knew they would find amazing. They were over-the-moon thrilled, in awe, gushing with excitement. Soon you were just as excited as they were, not because you cared about what they were looking at but because their exhilaration was contagious.

This is what it’s like being around a baby. They are wowed by nearly every object. They get wide eyed, start kicking their feet, smiling, failing their arms, and panting in anticipation of being able to touch whatever it is.

If I could read Hailey’s mind it would go something like this: “WOW! That looks like the BEST THING EVER! Give it to me now! Must have it IMMEDIATELY! Can’t wait to have it! Must stick that in my mouth as soon as possible! I’ve never seen anything as SPECTACULAR as this! I’m SO EXCITED I’m going to slap you in the face. Give it to me! Give it to me! Give it to me!”

And then I’d hand her the wooden spoon. Or a kleenex box. Or a toy. It doesn’t matter. Every object is the best thing ever. Don’t even get me started on the game of peek-a-boo. Or a stuffed animal attack. Or bath time. Or when Daddy comes home from work. All are reasons for thigh slapping, shrill shrieking, pee-your-pants delight!

I think almost everything is the BEST THING EVER! (except maybe nap time)

The excitement is contagious. I become animated and ridiculous when I’m around her. Her world is about fun. Nothing is as important.

When you’re around someone almost 24/7 who’s only goal in life is to have fun, it’s hard not to have fun.

At what point in our lives does this goal change? It’s been nice not being surrounded by negativity from work or office politics. My maternity leave has been a freeing experience. My focus is different. I’m not worried about impressing people, being criticized, the drama that’s going on with so and so, which new restrictive policy is being forced on us now, or who’s behavior issue I have to deal with.

Instead I’m rolling around on the floor tickle attacking my 9 month old having the best time of my life.

I want to the fun to continue. I want to have fun everyday. I guess there’s really no reason that can’t happen when I do go back to work. It’s just so easy right now.

What’s the best thing about having a baby? The constant happiness. And fun.