The race was on: my daughter’s first word was imminent.
“Daddy, Daddy, Daddy, Da Dee, Da Dee”
My daughter smiled at me and said nothing back – again. Don’t get me wrong it’s a good smile, even with only 2 actual teeth it’s a really good smile, but a smile isn”t what I wanted.
“Say Dad?, Da Da?”
“Aaaygh?” she ventured, looking at me hopefully with those huge dark Audrey Hepburn eyes. But unlike Audrey Hepburn’s eyes I am immune to my daughter’s this morning. Audrey Hepburn, as far as I can recall, didn’t burp-vomit on my neck this morning. If memory serves, Audrey Hepburn didn’t rake my face with her unbelievably sharp “baby-claw” in the early hours either.
“No, Da DEE, say daddy”
My wife shouted up the stairs “ Are you reading to her?”
“Yes, we’re doing loads of books”, I shouted back, before whispering “Say DADA, DAD, da da da”
“Gaaa hych er?” she smiled
“No, say Dad”
“SAY DADDY! Please just say Daddy?”
“Da DA, Da Da Daddy, Da da, Dad, Dad, Dad Da Da” I pleaded, I’d run out of time again, I could hear my wife coming up the stairs and she must never know that all this coaxing takes place the moment she leaves the room. That, out of earshot, her husband turns into the theme tune from Jaws. It must appear natural, born out of love for the preferred parent. I flip open a random book, start midway through a sentence, look up as she enters the room as if surprised to see her there.
“Oh hi, we’ve er just been reading”
“Yes I heard, the baby monitor is on”
I glance across and sure enough, the “plastic spy bastard” is on in the corner. Busted.
“Gah!” says my daughter, reading my thoughts.
“Bring her downstairs, her brother is dancing – you should come see”
I pick her up and we go downstairs to see my Son prancing around the room to “Pokerface”
“Gaga” says my daughter.