Thinking positively and having a can-do attitude are two of Andy Yu’s most notable characteristics when it comes to parenting. Andy works as the Chief Financial Officer for the Fraser Institute and also has mild cerebral palsy, which often times leads him to develop unique ways to handle certain parenting situations, including finding the best way to hold his baby and change his diaper. When his son Sidney was born, Andy didn’t know the proper way to hold him. But as he became more comfortable over time, he would use one hand to scoop Sidney instead of two.
Handling challenging situations
Another parenting situation where Andy learned to respond with a creative solution is when Andy had to change his son’s diaper when he was about a month old. Since his wife was out Boxing Day shopping, Andy had no choice but to change his son’s diaper. He was nervous, but he changed the diaper slowly and carefully and in his mind, that was a major accomplishment. “Sometimes necessity drives you to do things that you previously thought you couldn’t do,” says Andy.
He also points out that there can be times when things get tense, such as when dealing with his partner when a diaper might not be tied tight enough. He makes the important distinction that his wife’s frustration is not with his disability, but the stressful process of changing the baby’s diaper. Andy comments, “You know, I’m always worried about the kid and sometimes you would think, ‘it might be my disability, that’s why I didn’t do a good job’. But you learn, right?”
The joys of parenthood
Despite having CP, the Vancouver resident finds many joys in parenthood, especially coming home to his son waiting for him, smiling and jumping up and down exclaiming, “Papa! Papa! Papa!” In the Yu household, responsibility for Sidney is shared between him and his wife. Andy is responsible for waking Sidney up, changing his diaper, feeding him, preparing him for daycare, and brushing his teeth while his wife is responsible for preparing Sidney’s breakfast. Andy was very excited to become a father, but scared of how he would handle it on top of his concern about his baby’s well-being. He understands that there are certain responsibilities that come with being a father and at times he is unable to attend CPABC board meetings due to helping his wife put their son to sleep.
Andy is very active with Sidney and enjoys taking him to the park, swimming, participating in activities like the Scotiabank Charity Challenge, and getting Sidney involved with the Association and learning about CP at an early age. Andy claims to have been told that his son looks like him, adding that he notices the resemblance when he looks at his own childhood photos. He also says that his son is very loving. “For example, when I feed him, he will feed me back,” shares Andy. He indicates that when his son feeds him back, he needs to eat it or else his son won’t eat.
In addition to being active, Andy talks about how curious his son is, sharing stories about how Sidney frequently asks questions like “what’s that?”, chases birds, and says “woof, woof” whenever he sees a dog instead of saying “dog”.
When asked about family plans over the summer, Andy mentioned that Sidney was crawling the day before their family vacation to Hawaii in March, but then took steps in Hawaii the next day. “It was fun to see him walk, to see him explore” said Andy. “And ever since then, he’s non-stop. I have to chase him around.”
Learning through parenting
Parenting has taught Andy to be more patient and to enjoy the simple things in life, and he hopes that his son will grow up to be open-minded, live life with integrity, work hard, be honest, and above all, be happy. CPABC is glad that Andy is enjoying parenthood and wishes him all the best in the future.
This story was shared as part of World Cerebral Palsy Day 2016