The only parenting activity in which I participate consistently is bath time. I put the 1, 3, and 5 year olds into the tub, wash chunks of dinner off their faces, remove the two girls, and then leave the boy by himself to do whatever it is that he insists on doing alone in the tub every night while I get the two girls dressed.
Tonight, however, the boy wanted to get out immediately after his older sister to play with his Thomas train set some more, so I was left with just the 1-year-old. Eager to memorialize the last moments of my time as the parent of a baby, I recorded this conversation:
Me: BL (for “Baby Lola”)!
What’s odd (for me) is how much I actually enjoy spending time with B.L. With the other two, I tolerated their pre-walking and pre-talking months so that we could get to what I figured would be the better times: when the children could actually interact with me. But ever since we went to Houston last year, and I found myself spending entire days alone with Lola, I’ve enjoyed my time with this little creature of few words.
The fact that she starts each morning with cries for “DADDY!!!” and closes each evening’s bath time with the same call (but at a lower volume) only pushes me further into that realm of inability to say “no” to the only member of the family who never argues with me and is always excited to see me enter the room (a description once reserved for Winnie the dog, though now she’s shifted her affections toward our eldest). And as a result, while I see myself shoving Emilie toward vet school, Maddie toward law school or a CPA, and Owen toward mechanical engineering when their time to leave the nest arrives, I may have to feign invalidity when Lola reaches that age and coerce her into staying around a while. I’m sure she won’t mind. Right?