My back is aching. I haven’t eaten a meal at the house without thirty pounds of wiggling on my lap all week. I’m requested for diaper changes and hand washing. In the evenings he comes to me with a book, then calls out for me in the darkest hours of the night.
Let me just say, it’s hard work being the favorite.
Poor me. As the father of a two year old, the parental tide has turned in our household. Mom, once the sustainer of life, always the nurturer and steady caregiver, has found herself dropped to second place in favor of a chump. Don’t ask me how it happened.
I remember when he was stuck to Mom’s chest, how people told me not to worry, that my turn was coming, how little boys tend to want Daddy around this time. And don’t get me wrong, I love it. It’s just a lot of work, is all.
Yes, I know, I deserve to be laughed at for saying it. I’ve had a pretty easy ride here. I was the one heading out to play basketball or sleeping soundly through the night while my wife lugged the little guy around in her belly. I’d flop and flip and stretch out while she was stuck on one side, her back a wreck and her ankles swollen. After that it was her breast feeding and soothing voice that kept the baby from crying.
She was a natural. I was terrified.
And here I come along, with my fart jokes and cheap slapstick comedy routines and the little guy has stars in his eyes.
That’s gotta hurt.
Because Mom's the one who knows just what to fix him for dinner, while we play hockey or basketball in the hallway. Sure, I carry my weight and all, but still, I’m kind of just a big clown.
And I'll even let you in on a littel secret: Mom is actually the fun one. For the first year of his life I was what one might call, overprotective. I developed a newfound affinity for bubble wrap. I didn’t want my kid to be outside for fear of a falling satellite (It could happen). I told anyone who came near to watch his head, (that soft spot just kind of freaked me out).
I may have even been what you would consider, a stick in the mud. And now that he’s running and gunning I swoop in like I'm Captain Cool? Man, what a cheater...
So she shouldn't worry. Just sit back and enjoy that silver medal. Because the tide will turn again, I'm sure he’ll come to his senses and realize that Mom’s pretty good stuff. How could he not? He’s seen what I do to a grilled cheese sandwich, or my confounding attempts to fold his little shirts. And that lid on his sippy cup, what is this, a puzzle? I’m good for chasing him down the hallway or making up silly songs at breakfast. But certain things I just can’t do.