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My 14-month-old daughter just took her first real, confident strides across the living room.

I wasn’t there to see it.

That’s ironic since I’m currently a stay-at-home mom and Viv is usually glued to my hip 24/7.  But on the occasion of her grand promenade, I was shopping at Babies R Us while Daddy held down the fort.  No big deal, right?   It’s great for Dave to experience one of Viv’s most special firsts.   It should certainly buy me some more Sunday shopping trips sans bebe.

At least he took videos.

But I got to thinking, this isn’t the first time Viv has gone out of her way to lavish special attention on her Dad.

Shortly after learning to clap her hands, she began applauding every time Dave entered the room.  Yay for Daddy!   He would routinely descend the stairs in the morning to a crawling ovation.  Hurray, it’s Daddy!

Then came the phase when Viv would burst into tears when Dave left for work.   Don’t worry, honey, Daddy will be home later.  And Mommy’s right here.  Remember Mommy?

When Viv said “Dada” before “Mama,” I didn’t sweat it.  I figured the “Da” sound was easier for a baby to say.   But now I have my doubts.

I told the walking story to my father and he started cackling: “Ask your mother about all the tricks you did for me that you never did for her!”   So I guess this is a thing.

As a mom, of course you want your kid to adore her father.  You just secretly want her to need you like 3% more.  It seems only fair, in exchange for all the mommy-fielded late nights, early mornings, sore boobies, exploding diapers, grocery store tantrums, 5x/day high chair sanitation, booger retrieval (actually I enjoy that) and feats of strength like hefting a 20-pound-baby while pushing her empty stroller 10 blocks uphill in the hot sun when she just won’t have it any other way.  Remember any of that, baby girl?

They say a daughter’s relationship with her father is crucial to self esteem and sets the tone for future male relationships.  We’re doing well on that front since Dave is both an amazing man and a devoted Daddy.  But Viv might as well learn, when you love a really great guy, there’s usually some woman out there simmering with jealousy.   And in this case, her name is Mom.

What’s the deal here, do I need to start putting bacon in my pockets?   I’d love to hear your thoughts.


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