It took a bout with pink eye and a restless night for me to have a breakthrough with my daughter. Historically, Sprout hadn't been into bonding with me. She was too busy trying to sew herself to her mother's hip than to bother with getting to know her dad. It's not like I wasn't trying, but when the girl is too stubborn to even let anyone else but her mom feed her, you start to get the idea of what was dealing with.
So on a chilly night, when both kids were sick and WW™ had spent a couple of sleepless nights tending to our offspring, it was my turn when Sprout started screaming. The poor little thing not only had pinkeye, but a terrible cough and an ear infection. She was in misery. It was 9pm and she had only been able to muster a few restless hours of sleep. I picked her up and started to rock her. She soon settled and I put her back in the crib, but it wasn't long before she woke up and was screaming again. However, this time a curious sound came from her mouth. It sounded an awful lot like, "Daddy! Daddy!"
"Let me go get her," said WonderWife™.
"No way. She's calling for me," I said proudly. "I'm getting her."
WW™ was all too happy to oblige and went back to burying herself in the comforts of Facebook.
This time I brought Sprout to the couch and laid down with her on my chest. She wriggled for a little while, but I rubbed her back and she soon passed out. I lay there quietly pinned under my sleeping daughter, the remote tauntingly just out of reach. The next thing I knew, I opened my eyes to a house was eerily dark and silent. I had passed out. I squinted to see the clock--a cheap digital piece of crap that was always 5-17 minutes wrong. After some quick math, I concluded that it was after midnight. I slowly got up, maneuvering Sprout back to her bed as delicately as if it were my turn late in a very long game of Jenga. Successful, I stumbled back to my own room to finish up the night's sleep.
In the morning, another curious sound came from Sprout's room.
"Dad! Dad! Dad!"
This was truly unprecedented. Never in that girls' entire life did she want to see anyone first in the morning other than WonderWife™. Yet this morning, all she wanted was a hug and a kiss from her daddy.
We both learned something that night. Sprout learned that I am an awesome snuggler. And I learned that despite Sprout's attachment to her mom, her daddy was able to give her some comfort at least for one night.