I was up early feeding him yesterday, about 4 or so. I had him cradled in one arm and was holding the bottle in the other hand. He reached out with his right hand and found my pinkie finger, on the hand holding the bottle. He squeezed it tightly and pulled, as if moving the bottle closer to his mouth.

I thought, wow, his dexterity has really improved in the last couple of weeks.

Then his left hand found the bottle. He slid his hand down the bottle until he found my thumb. Again, he squeezed it tightly while also squeezing my pinkie finger.

I burst into tears. It seemed like he was trying to connect to me. It seemed like he was trying to tell me that he knew I was there. It seemed like he was trying to tell me he relied on me.

It was beautiful. So beautiful.

I saw my son’s first smile. It was amazing.

It occurred during a visit from our friends Dan and Jenny. Taya had just finished nursing him and had turned him around so they could see his face. I was standing with them and that’s when he smiled — while looking at them.

I’ve never before seen anyone’s first smile. I’m so glad I was there.

Finn smiles a lot while sleeping, but this was the first one while his eyes were open. I’m sure someone out there might be eager to tell me that it wasn’t really a smile, but the expression of gas or something. To them I say: shut up.

I had just seen “I Walked with a Zombie,” a movie from the 40s. There was a scene where the main character visits a maid with a new baby and he smiles at her. They said that she was going to be a very important person in to him; that the first person a baby smiles at will be his friend for life. It was nice that they were who he smiled for.

By that, I mean I was wealthy. My time was mostly my own and I could easily predict how long a given task would take or when I should leave the house to make an appointment.

I knew that becoming a father would change all of that. But there are different types of knowing. There’s a conceptual knowing — a fact you picked up from a conversation or something you read — and there’s an experiential knowing that brings home the new reality.

I’m back to work now, so my time is at a very expensive premium. There are things I will have to give up — some I have already given up. It’s difficult and kind of sad. I have a commute, work and parenting on top of housework, eating/biological functions and sleep. Oh, and there’s relationship time.

I think the first thing to go will be entertainment. I just don’t have as much time to watch TV any more. After that, movies, too. I’ve already got a shoulder-high stack of rentals waiting to be watched. I might be able to put them on my phone and watch them during my commute hours, but that’s when I’m writing.

Work will have to narrow for me, too. I’ve been working 50 hours a week or so. I need to scale that back and say no to more meetings and tasks.

Here’s where it gets painful: hobbies. I might have to scale down my garden plans. No big, long bicycle trips this summer or training. Fewer baseball games. Fewer computer projects. I’m not going to build a kayak or a bicycle any time soon.

And, believe me when I say, that’s ok. These are sacrifices I make joyfully. This kid is wonderful and he is the new center of my life. I want to be the best dad I can be.

Do I even have time to write this blog? Well, I make time to write it because it’s important to me. Someday, years from now, I might have the time to go back and read this.

Yesterday was crazy. It certainly felt like I was finding the limits of my energy and patience.

It started off well enough. I got up early to feed the boy. He was sleepy and I didn’t wake him. I figured it was better to wake himself up to eat AND if I could get him to go to 6:30 before eating, then it might time out so that his next feeding is right before we left.

That was the first time I tried to control the events of the day.

Fed him and we hung out during one of his awake periods, which are becoming more frequent and longer in duration.

Taya got up, I cleaned the kitchen and got dinner going in the crockpot. She was holding the baby and shopping online for a rug in his room. I told her twice that I wanted to leave by 10 a.m. and be home by 4 p.m.

That was the second time I tried to control events. I had all sorts of things I wanted to do on my last day of vacation and we had to be back by evening for me to do them.

We didn’t leave until 11. Getting the boy out of the house — with all its attendant feeding, changing and gearing — always takes longer than I think it will. I allotted an hour this time. It took two.

Five minutes down the road, I felt like I was already falling asleep behind the wheel. We stopped at the market for some to-go coffee. More time. Taya spilled hers in the car. More time. More, more, more.

We got to Finn’s birthmom’s house about an hour and a half behind schedule. She is currently living with her grandmother at a senior complex. Grandma wanted to show Finn around to her friends. How could we say no?

The ladies were sweet and didn’t linger uncomfortably, but the whole time I worried about what germs they might be exposing him to. He won’t get his whooping cough vaccine for another six weeks.

We took Ashley to lunch and had a nice time with her, but it was it was already after four when we dropped her back off at home.

Then Taya reminded me that she wanted to go to this out-of-the-way house on the way back to pick up some breast milk that a woman agreed to give us.

This was the first time I realized I could not control events. Parenting seems like it could be disastrous if one insists that a baby stick to their schedule.

It was hard. We spent hours at fast food restaurants and parking lots trying to feed and change the kid in a tiny car stuffed with gear (and then overstuffed with ice and breast milk). We didn’t get home until after 10 p.m. It wasn’t anyone’s fault. It’s just they way things unfolded. I’m glad I was able to let go if my need to control.

One thing about becoming a parent is that you learn about stool. You worry about it, look for it, sometimes pray for it to come out of your baby.

My wife is disappointed that I didn’t do all of the suggested reading before we became parents. When I am surprised by something, she rolls her eyes because it was in one of several books she was urging me to read.

Because of my interrelated lazy and busy states, I could not fit that reading in.

Anyway, the baby’s first poop is something called meconium, and it’s unlike anything seen come out of your body. It’s like tar or molasses — both in color and consistency. It didn’t start coming in until about 24 hours after he was born, and then it was over by about day four.

Next comes what the doctor calls “golden sunshine,” which is a yellow poo that kind of has the consistency and color of stone-ground mustard. It’s strange to see yellow poo. Our son was a little jaundiced at the time, so we fed him as much as we could to help him flush that stuff out.

We switched formulas on the guy when he was having some problems with vomiting, then switched him back. The first formula gave him about one poo per day. The next formula — an expensive, sensitive formula with proteins processed into smaller chains so it is easier to digest — made him poop several times per day. After switching him back, though, he now poops about every 36 hours.

I never thought I would be waiting and watching for poop. We did some reading about it and, like most every other concern, this is “normal.”

The yellow poo has persisted until yesterday. This time it was green. To the Internet! Turns out that color is a function of time.