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Father, Like Daughter

I had such a great experience carrying and delivering our first child, Annie, that I really was excited about having another. I just didn’t expect it to be so soon. While nursing and taking preventative measures, I became pregnant when Annie was only six months old. Honestly, I was thrilled, tired but thrilled.

Jer had always been the kind of dad who got on the floor and played with his kids. He would lay on his back and stand Annie on his chest, holding her hands out wide. She smiled and giggled. They had variations of this game, one where he would lift her with his feet, holding her arms out as she flew through the air conquering the world. Annie always begged for more. Jer usually complied. Tina was born when Annie was just fifteen months old. Two in diapers became a way of my life for me. They were like salt and pepper. Annie blond and blue eyed. Tina brown hair and eyes. Tina was reserved and quiet while Annie enjoyed talking to everyone. I remember the transition from one to two children being the hardest. I stressed about schedules and how to make it all work but Jer would take them out by himself…alone. He was my hero. The thought of taking them both out in the beginning was terrifying to me. I had to be especially careful with a toddler around a new born. I didn’t want Annie poking Tina in the eye or sticking her finger up her nose. “Gentle, Annie. Gentle,” became my mantra. I had a huge fear of Annie pulling Tina off the couch where I laid her down from time to time. One day when it was time to change one of them…not sure who. I carefully laid Tina on a blanket in the middle of the room while I ran down the hall to grab a diaper. Annie sat quietly beside her sister. I wonder what went through her mind in the few seconds I was gone. Maybe seeing Tina laying on the floor reminded her of Daddy and the fun games they played. Surely, Tina would enjoy this game with her. When I rounded the corner, I was horrified to find my few-week-old red is the face, unable to breath or make a sound. Annie carefully stood balancing on Tina’s tiny chest. I quickly grabbed her off and verbally reprimanded her. Annie looked confused. Tina regained her breath and now both were crying. I’m thankful everyone one survived. Although, Daddy and I had a talk about his daughter-father bonding time.

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