It is easy to forget, in the middle of the night when she insists that she is certainly no longer tired and that she would like some water, milk, pizza, a Nintendo Wii, or Australia, that she is an adorable little guru, teaching deep lessons deeply at the same time that she is learning deep lessons deeply.
I infer that one of the routines at daycare, one of her lessons in childhood, is a naptime ritual. They will pull the mats out, lay the kids out on them (though not with a left hook), cover them with blankets, and then use a series of soft pats and back rubs accompanied by "shhh. shhh," to put the kids to sleep (though not in the Sending to a Farm in Upstate New York sense).
I infer this because she will, on occasion (every day, six or twenty times), pull a "mat" out (in actuality a seat back pocket storage bag for the car), lay her baby doll out on it (though not with an uppercut), cover it with a blanket, and then use a series of soft pats and back rubs accompanied by "shhh. shhh," to put the baby doll to sleep (though not in the Goldfish Toilet Funeral sense).
She has learned this lesson deeply.
This morning as I sat her in her high chair for breakfast, buckling her in for safety before setting down her plate of eggs, buttered whole wheat mini-bagel and banana, I was arrested in my progress by the most distressing sight I can imagine.
She had pulled the mat out, lain her baby doll out on it…
…and then nothing. Because dad swooped her up and buckled her in her high chair for safety before setting down her plate of eggs, buttered whole wheat mini-bagel and banana.
But she teaches her lessons deeply, my guru. Because without so much as an imploring gaze or whimpering mewl about an incomplete routine, without any indication at all that she was interested in the world beyond her plate of eggs, buttered whole wheat mini-bagel and banana, I reached down and covered her baby doll with a blanket, and then used a series of soft pats and back rubs accompanied by "shhh. shhh," to put her baby doll to sleep (in the Kid, You Made Me Dad sense).
I am not just her dad because of her. I am Dad, overflowing with Dadness.