Sunday, June 12, 2005

Happy (early) Father's Day

My husband gave Sweetie her bath the other night so that I could get some work done on the computer. This was his first bathtime with her and he did a good enough job, but I still felt compelled to help him out as best I could. I helped him set the water temperature just right, told him what washclothes to use for what parts of her body, encouraged him to use fresh running water to rinse her hair (instead of scooping up the bathwater into the rinsing cup), instructed him how to rinse her hair so that the least amount of water ran into her face - and if that happened, how to quickly fix that traumatic event as quickly as possible. And, once the bath was over, she escaped from him, running naked through our halls. Like I said - he did a pretty good job - but I can do it so much better. :)

I write a lot about how my husband is always "absent"; off to the far reaches of our home working on repair projects and/or yardwork or the like. I realized from the readers' point of view that it seems like he rarely is around to help me out or simply take part in my or our daughter's life. That simply is not true. In order to help me get through my day, making sure that Sweetie is well attended and taken care of, my husband does things for and with the two of us without even thinking about it - things that other men would balk at having to do.

He and I always go grocery shopping together - that, or he goes by himself. I am not able to push the heavy carriage around and I am certainly unable to go on such an "adventure" with just my daughter and myself. And then he transfers all the bags into the house and does most, if not all of the putting away. But he doesn't mind. In fact, I know that he prefers to be so involved in the food shopping because he does all the cooking in our house. That's right, ladies, I married a man who can cook! Yes, he is a vegetarian and that did not thrill me at first, but I have since learned to not only like but also really love many vegetarian recipes. He has even done what he could to find "regular" recipes and experiment with them to make them both vegetarian and as appealing to me as possible. He once even made me a completely vegetarian beef stew that was absolutely delicious!

The three of us often do all our shopping together, actually. Luckily, I married a man who doesn't mind shopping and I myself am not a huge fan of the activity. So together it works out perfectly. We always go with a purpose, find what we need and get out. Done. And, of course, he's right there to lug around the packages we buy and take care of Sweetie's squirminess.

My husband has, since birth, put Sweetie to bed every night. If she cries in the night or when she wakes in the morning, he's the one to go get her. Ever since she could talk she's been calling for Daddy to come get her out of her crib in the morning. They've developed a special routine, and formed a very loving bond simply from the time they share together at night and in the morning. If I ever do go to get her from her crib she is often upset to see me standing at her door instead of Daddy. I have Monday's off from work, so when I go to get her on those mornings I always have to explain to her that it's Mommy Day and quickly describe all the fun things we'll do so that she doesn't freak out in hysterics that her beloved Daddy isn't around.

Our daughter is a COMPLETE Daddy's Girl. She has been known to literally push me aside so that she can get to her Daddy first when we both pick her up after work. She had thrown herself down in her crib at the very sight of me because it is Daddy that she wants to retrieve her. And she has declared her love over and over for Daddy but, when asked if she loves Mommy, she falls silent or shakes her head. Does she truly not love me? No. I know this. We've definitely had our fair share of cuddly, loving times as well. But Daddy is the silly one. Daddy is the funny one. Daddy will play and romp on the floor with her, chasing her around and around the house. Mommy is the one she's around the most - the one who feeds, bathes, comforts, and disciplines her. Daddy can and has done many of these things too, but mostly Daddy is pure fun. Who couldn't love that so much?

I could think of a ton of other seemingly small things my husband does for me and/or Sweetie every single day. He helps me get her out of the tub when it's the last thing in the world she wants to do. He helps to "capture" and entertain her so that I can change her diaper. He buckles her into her car seat and helps her out, every trip. He gets things that I need without a grumble because he knows it's so much easier for him to quickly go upstairs or into the other room than it is for me. And all the work he's doing on our house is for all of us - improvements that will make our home more enjoyable and easier for me to manage. He loves to build, to construct, to create and he's very good at what he does. He wants the best for his family and he works hard to see that we get it. He's a wonderful husband and father and Sweetie and I think the world of him and love him very much.

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