I have been able to spend a lot of one-on-one time with you the last few weeks. Between your daycare provider going on vacation, you being sick, me leaving my job, there’s been a lot of opportunity for us to bond even more. This is making me feel so incredibly good because I never did take a paternity leave with you like I did with your brother and sister. Circumstances made it difficult and I regret not taking that time. But now I have the time and it’s been an incredible experience to not only get to know you but have the opportunity to feel like I’m contributing to your development.
I have been playing with you a lot these past few weeks and it is amazing to me how quickly you absorb information. It hasn’t been all that long since we’ve begun reading nightly bedtime stories but you can now help me finish the rhymes on your favorite book, “I know a Rhino.” At first I thought it was coincidence that you were making sounds that were similar to the words but now I know that it’s deliberate. You know the rhyme and you say it with me, which is pretty damn cool.
You also know the names to the facial features as we get dressed after a bath, you lie on the changing table and point to my hair and say “hair” in your cute 19-month voice. You point to my eyes, nose, ears and teeth and repeat these as well. And then, as I blow raspberries on your freshly-washed belly, you laugh and point and say, “Belly!”
And finally, you love to sing. If you have heard a tune a few times, you will sing along to it, reciting lyrics only you know but it’s clearly in the tune of the song you’re either listening to or just heard. Today, we had a good time singing “The more we get together” as I readied you for your nap. After we had stopped singing together and I gathered you to put you in your crib, you continued your own little solo. Your smile as you sang lit up the room.
You are growing up so fast and learning words at a dizzying pace. You have an outgoing personality and a smile and laugh that is intoxicating. You give kisses and raspberries and hugs. You wave and say “bye-bye” emphatically and, if the person is really special, even blow kisses.
I love the little girl that you have become, sweet one. And I’m equally glad that I’m here to see it.
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