After a seven-month run, Daddy Day Care is coming to an end.
1,680 diapers, 840 bottles, 576 jars of food, 168 bowls of oatmeal, 504 naps, and 3,360 kisses.
We played. We read. We laughed. We hugged. I picked your nose. You put my entire nose in your mouth. We banged on things, shook things, and twiddled our fingers when we were happy. We counted cars. We sneezed in the middle of dinner and sent oatmeal flying. We kicked in the bath until water splashed the ceiling. We said the following words: ducky, dinosaur, cheetah, kitty-kat, and pfft. One bad afternoon while being force-fed pees, your face filled with green chunks you shouted your first sentence: “Iwantmymomma!”
Today we went to the park and we swung on the swing, ate our snacks, and watched 10,000 children bump into each other screaming and knocking each other over. We watched them eat Doritos during “chip time” and I wondered about who would be taking care of you in two week’s time. Will she care about you as much as I do? Will she make you laugh like only your mom can with a song and dance routine or a scary monster voice?
I am looking out the window of our apartment where I have spent most of my time the past seven months. I wondered quite a bit during that time if I was a good father. If typing away on my computer while stealing glances at you and making a funny face was enough. If taking breaks to read to you or to give you a new toy or to put you on my lap and squeeze you was enough. And I wonder if you will ever know how much I love you and how terrified I am not to have you with me every day.
Is it stupid to fear the day that you tell me I don’t give a shit? The day you storm off to your room or out with friends, telling me I’m a terrible father, me calling after you with a litany of ridiculous memories that you couldn’t possibly remember, “I changed your diapers! I rocked you to sleep! I held you when you were sad!”
Yes. It is stupid. I know that. Of course you won’t remember any of this. Only I will remember, and that must be enough.
I love you dearly my Little Man, Mookie, Boochas, Choonas, Monkey, Chana Masala, Ashalloo!, Zubas, Zubby, Zubmaster General, Captain Fuss Muss.
When you grow up, don’t forget I scooped poop out of the bathtub for you.