When each of my kids were born I could tell that I had a certain amount of, I don't know what to call it, I guess instinctual love works, for them. I knew that I loved them from somewhere in the deep recesses of my mind and heart but I never felt that certain connection or bond right from the get go. I think part of the reason for that is that I did not feel the love from my kids right from the start. I know that may sound wrong but that is how I felt. I felt the need to protect them and nurture them but that reciprocal part of the relationship just wasn't there. Lauren nursed each of the kids so they didn't need me.
I didn't feel connected to Maxfield until about he was about 6 months old. Sure, I loved him more and more each day, but it wasn't until his personality developed that I could feel his affection and need for me that I truly experienced the love that a father can have for his son. It was also about the same time that Lauren stopped nursing.
When Wyatt was born, I became Max's best friend. Lauren spent more time with Wyatt and I spent more time with Max. My attention and time was focused on Max and it took at least 9 months for me to feel the father connection to Wyatt. Although he was still nursing he became more independent and his laugh and attitude made me completely fall head over heels.
Now with Jackson my time and attention is now split between the two older boys. My focus is on taking care of them, knowing that Lauren is taking care of Jackson. I was sure that I would not feel the bond between us for a much longer time. I was wrong. For some reason, with Jackson, it was around the three month mark where I came to fully appreciate my love for him. Maybe it is due to Max and Wyatt interacting with Jackson more and Jackson is giving back quicker than the other two did. Maybe it has to do with the fact that I am more calm and patient as a dad. Maybe it is due to the fact that I am finally getting this parental love thing down and I can recognize Jackson's personality and needs of me quicker.
Lauren is nursing Jackson and maybe the reciprocal love is due to the fact that a few years ago I was in better shape and now I am starting to get man-boobs and Jackson is just confused.