I’m sorry for not writing in quite some time but I was battling a pernicious little flu bug for the last week. What happens when an at-home dad goes down for the count? The same that happens when any primary care giver gets sick: all hell breaks loose. Chaos ensues and you can’t see a break in the storm. Normally, I can pull it together and just push through any illness but this was a virus that knocked me on my arse. At one moment I was moaning in my bed, thinking the date with my maker loomed near only to realize that death would be way too merciful an end. I’m just too damn bitter to die.
On top of trying to recover, my 13-month-old daughter has decided that she is interested in using the potty. She points to the potty, says, “potty,” and waves her hand back and forth to sign the word for potty. When I put her on the potty, she actually goes. Yesterday, she went poop once and peed in the potty several times. It doesn’t always work out that way but I think it’s pretty cool she’s starting to understand. I know you “experts” out there will “poo-poo” my tale but don’t hate because she’s rocking the pot.
My daughter was an early talker. She started to say “da-da” at like four or five months. When I showed a social worker, an “expert” in early childhood development, she openly mocked me and basically said she’d let me have fun believing my baby was saying “da-da.” At 11 months, my daughter was eating a blueberry smoothie. When I asked her, “Do you like it?” she responded, “I like it!” This is no lie; I have the video to prove it. My daughter wakes up in the morning, starts talking, and doesn’t stop until she goes down for a nap. She wakes from her nap only to start talking again and won’t stop until she goes down for bed. Instead of a college fund, I’m going to start saving for a cell phone account.
Why do I share this fact with you? Because the other day I was walking around the back yard with my daughter on my shoulders while playing catch with my son. I noticed a shovel on the ground and didn’t want someone to step on it only to have their face flattened like a cartoon character. When I made the move to pick up said shovel my daughter started to fall from her perch. In an instant I caught darling daughter in mid air. I felt like Indiana Jones. She was obviously shaken by the entire experience and started to cry, not from pain but from the beautiful relief that the fear she faced did not come to fruition. You know that lashing you took from your mom when as a kid you got lost in a store or at an amusement park? It’s part “thank goodness,” part “you dumb kid.” Well, that’s what I heard from my daughter and she really let me have it. She was going off, articulating and gesticulating. Although most of what she said didn’t make sense to me, her face had conviction and those monosyllabic grunts meant something to her. She wanted to let me know never to let her fall again. I sheepishly apologized and assured her daddy would not be so careless next time. She looked at me, “Next time? What do you mean next time?” Hey, what do you do when you fall off a horse? So I put her right back up on her throne. She was fine so long as she could use my hair for reigns. Minus the two rather conspicuous bald spots on either side of my skull, it doesn’t really look all that bad.