by Benjamin J. Kirby
It was bound to happen sooner or later: for the first time, I inadvertently made my daughter cry, using nothing more than words.
I know the rap on me. I know the deal. Nice guy, funny -- but will be the first to take a joke too far. Can cross the line. Doesn't mean to, but will. Smart, but not smart enough to know when it's enough.
Of course, I've fussed at her, and she's cried. Or, worse, I've bonked her head getting her into the car, and she's cried. This was different.
The short version is, we were having dinner and Duncan got some food on her hand or her wrist and Emmy, very worried, was going to wipe it off with her little wash cloth. I made some over-the-top Oh no! Mommy has food on her hand! kind of thing, too dramatic, too silly, and then -- to make the situation worse -- I got up to go rinse the wash cloth out. I didn't stay focused on Emmy so she could see I was kidding.
Here's the point: two year-olds don't necessarily get sarcasm.
And I'll tell you this: the only thing that will make you feel smaller than making your daughter cry because you teased her is having her crawl out of bed, hours after dinner, well past her bed-time, walk into the room you're in, stand there in her little Minnie Mouse nightgown, stuffed Mickey in hand, and look at you with her bight, beautiful eyes, with her bright, beautiful smile, and say with more love than you deserve, "You're a good Daddy."
Nothing political here. I just thought I'd share a story about what an ass I am, and what a really great kid I have.
I also just wanted to tell you that story so you can get an idea of where my head has been the last few days -- and probably will be going forward in the next several weeks. I'll try to keep regularly posting, but between now and when Finn gets here (around the end of April, or so), it may be sporadic. Bear with us -- and thanks for reading.