It always struck me as a little unfair that babies usually said “da-da” before they said, “ma-ma”. At least, my babies did. In some cases, the sound/words were close together — Michael of course being the exception. He’s been saying “dah-dee” for *months*, and only just started saying “mah-mnee”. He’s making up for the lag by saying “mah-mnee” every .7 seconds, though.
From an evolutionary standpoint, saying daddy first is probably advantageous, right? You’re this little wrinkled defenseless being, your mom, while soft and good smelling and your food source, probably isn’t bringing home the bacon otherwise, or scaring away the saber-tooth tigers. That big, loud hairy thing that hangs around the fire (making funny smells while he’s there) seems more intimidating. Why not win him over to your side?
Dan didn’t wait until hearing his first “da-da” to be utterly devoted and captivated by his children; most modern-day fathers probably don’t. He was pretty much hooked from birth (if not a bit before). They barely got those babies — our babies — out and cleaned up before his heart was lost.
How funny language is. Because it’s not that his heart was lost, or gone, or melted. If anything, for Dan, it was the opposite. That in Flora, Kate, and Michael, Dan’s heart was found — especially after our loss of Gabriel. That part of his reason for being in this world was fulfilled in becoming not just a father, but a “da-da”.
This post is a day late because we were so busy yesterday, probably not the most ideal of Father’s Days in my husband’s view. We cleaned, and had brunch for his father and brother-in-law, set up a kiddie pool, and then got everyone cleaned up (again!) to go to my brother’s for dinner with him and my father. But ultimately, I know that being woken up (not until 10 a.m.!) by his children and their big handmade card was pretty much the pinnacle for him. That we can celebrate my husband’s fatherhood means the world, and not just to him.