A special day calls for a special treat, so Anna Claire and I stopped at Starbucks this morning for a kids hot chocolate and some coffee cake en route to Stepping Stones, her preschool. Thankfully, the turning of the calendar hasn't untwisted her tongue...
Can we thtop at Thtawbuckth on the way to Thtepping Thtoneth?
Looking at it in type, it might appear my daughter is Tweety Bird. It's actually much cuter. Especially when I'll say it like she says it,
Do you want to go to 'Thtawbuckth?'
And she'll say, Not 'Thtawbuckth,' THTAW-buckth. Like, Come on, Dad, you know that's not how you say it...
I hope we never quit having conversations like the one this morning:
AC: I'm four now.
Me: Yes you are.
AC: So you can't tell me I can't turn four anymore.
(That's our little game. I'll say, I may not let you turn four, you know, and she'll say, You have to; that's the way God made me! Except she doesn't use semicolons when she speaks...)
AC: Is this February 28th?
Me: Yes it is. This is the day you were born.
AC (in a funny voice but partially to double check): But I'm not borned today. Today, I'm four.
AC: Does 'A' make any other sounds?
Me: Well, 'A' makes the 'ay' sound, like 'Amy.' It also can make the 'a' sound like 'Anna Claire,' and it can make the 'ah' sound like 'father.' I am your father.
AC: That's what Darth Vader says when he's on the dark side - I am your father - to that man on the good side. Remember when he takes his helmet off and he can't breathe?
AC: He's good then, but then he dies.
AC (pointing in excitement): Thtawbuckth!!!
Start getting your dowries together now, boys. Here's a girl with a sky high foo-foo quotient and a predilection for the pink and poofy who's also - thanks to her two older and beloved brothers - fluent in Star Wars, Power Rangers, army guys, and baseball (during Rangers games last year, Ith that Alfontho Thowiano?).
My favorite regular exchange between the two of us:
Me: Daddy looooooves that girl.
AC: That goll luuvth haw Daddy.
My favorite move of hers right now: how she's constantly hiking up the back of her drawers because they won't stay up on her little hiney.
My favorite daily routine: her giggly excitement before bedtime when she announces that she's going to sleep on her sleeping bag in the brothers' room. As if she hadn't done the same thing every night for the past year and a half. When we talk about the best and worst things about their day each night, she always says, Sweeping wif the bwutheth (sleeping with the brothers).
When Amy was pregnant with Nicholas, I had trouble imagining how I was going to find room in my heart to love another child besides Andrew. And then I did. When we were expecting Anna Claire, everyone said to prepare for a little girl to wrap me around her finger. And it's happened.
I think the main reason daddies love their girls - not more, but differently than their boys - is so simple that it's actually quite profound:
Guys like girls. And guys really dig it when girls like them back. That's why Anna Claire and I have worked for these four years.
Daddy loves that girl. And for now at least, that girl loves her Daddy.