Wednesday, September 06, 2006

The Proof is in the Pudding

After roughly twenty months of coming to terms with the fact that he is a father, The Partner has wholly embraced the squirming, screaming wonder that is The Boss. And she, in turn, has latched onto the concept that she is Daddy's Little Girl. She will allow only him to put her to bed. She hits the crib inconsolable if anyone else tries. Perhaps it's the fraternity songs he sings to her, interspersed with the only slightly more politically correct "Rock A Bye Baby." Maybe it's his strong, calm hold as he rocks her. Whatever it is, I find this bedtime preference as annoying as I do sweet. She's my banshee; she's his bleating, doe-eyed girl.

Though he still refuses to change a diaper, I am mostly happy with The Partner's transformation. I've been waiting a long time. A lifetime. When I first got pregnant, he was unthrilled. I figured the sweet reality of it might hit him more when I began to show; but when I popped, his demeanor was unchanged. Then I thought her birth would clinch it, and that he would weep fatherly tears of joy that would be a film over his eyes for the rest of his life. He was more stoic than that, though. With my hopes wearing thin, I pinned the last shreds on the idea that maybe, once The Boss was out of the disagreeable fourth trimester, her sunny infant disposition would bring out an excited paternity in her father. But, no. So I gave up on all the hoping.

Which is obviously when it happened. I guess it's been a slightly more gradual process than I might make it out to be, but the fact is that The Partner's devotion to The Boss is now apparent. It cannot be misconstrued. It's in the swoop he makes from the door to wherever she's playing when he gets home from work. It's in his coos about her cuteness. It's in his face, which looks exactly like hers. My sigh of relief is gale-force.

Now, if I could only get him to change a diaper.


Binkytown said...

I'm thrilled for you. I am still waiting. I would gladly change all the diapers if I could have that in exchange. (Wait! That's right! I already do! Huh)

Melissa said...

Right now, I kinda feel the way you are decribing the husband. Even though I'm walking around with a big old belly and counting days until my due date, I still feel like it isn't real- as if I'll wake up and my husband and I will laugh about my funny dreams. I'm worried that I won't cry those joyful tears, that I won't have those mom instincts that everyone promises I'll have and that my husband will see that and leave me because not only am I totally unattractive right now but I lack feelings. (Which is stupid because he has never given me reason to think this would happen.)
Gotta love the hormone cocktail.

toyfoto said...

I have to admit, there I times when I wish my uber husband weren't so um ... uber. Sometimes it seems like he's the mom. But, then I realize having someone who resented fatherhood would be worse. Uber or not, though, he's sure gotten out of his fair share of 'big-girl' diapers.

Mother said...

No diapers? Dude. I say no sex.

Lauren said...

By the time you get him to change a diaper, she'll be potty trained I'm afraid. :)

Michele said...

Glad to hear he has finally evolved.
I gotta say, I'm with Mother. No dipes, no lovin'.
But thats easy for me to say because my husband is really amazing at the fathering thing. Beyond my wildest expectations. Which makes up for other stuff where he is just mediocre.
Damn that sounded harsher than I meant.

Mary-LUE said...

The pics of The Partner and The Boss side by side are great!

My daughter is definitely a Daddy's Girl but with a lot of still wanting Mommy thrown in. My son? He was a Momma's Boy. Part of me cringes when I say that because of the bad press that goes with it. But that is just the way it was.

Thanks for stopping by my place yesterday.

Mrs. Chicky said...

My husband is a little like your's. He loves his daughter, but I think he loves the idea of her more than the reality. It's getting better, now that she's walking and can do more, but the changes are gradual.

But at least I can guilt him into changing diapers.

Veronica Mitchell said...

I think in our marriage I am the slower to bond. When our first was born, I said I was too tired to hold her, which is apparently a terrible faux pas, judging by the horrified looks of the nurses. But my husband cradled her like she was the most precious thing in the world, and suddenly I wanted to too.

I hope he continues to grow into the father she needs.

Jenifer said...

Thank God I'm not the only one! My husband is a good father, more so once they hit the 1 year and older mark, however he does watch them 2 days a week while I am at work so he does his share of feedings and diaper changes.... I think men just don't have that instinct to want to hold and cuddle and care for and infant unless they have to.

Sometimes I think also that they are unsure of what to do in your presence... like they don't want to step on "mommy's" toes. My husband does a fine job taking care of the children when I am not home (no small feat since my daughter is just over 2 and my son is barely 6 weeks), but it seems when I am there he is a bit afraid he may not do it "my way" and therefore incur my hormonal wrath.... he seems to wait for me to give explicit instructions on what I want help with, then has no problem following through.