Babies are a rarity among my group of friends, and mine has been the subject of much curiosity. While I happily field questions about how we diaper him (cloth and disposable, depending on the laundry situation), or why I’m teaching him sign language (so he can communicate), sometimes the comments my childless friends make are just downright dumb. Like the other day, when one suggested, “He loves you both equally, right?”
Ummm, wrong my friend, very wrong. Obviously, he loves ME best.
Don’t get me wrong. Babydude is smitten with his dad. Daddydude is a caring and conscientious father – of course his son loves him. But still, Daddydude didn’t ruin his body or compromise his career to create our child, and Daddydude doesn’t spend ALL DAY EVERYDAY caring for his son. And Babydude knows that. Right?
Unfortunately, I’m starting to fear that’s not true. You see, Babydude has started to babble, and the sounds coming from his mouth indicate a distinct fatherly preference. I try to be a good guide. “Ma-ma-ma-ma,” I intone. “Mama”. To which he invariably looks me in the eye, smiles, and replies, “Ah-da-da-da. Daaaaaaa-da.”
Apparently ‘da’ is easier to say than ‘ma’, and Babydude hasn’t started to attach meaning to his sounds yet. But let’s say the reverse were true and he were a ‘ma’- babbler. You’d better believe I would take it as A Definite Sign.
It’s probably something I should get used to. After all, Babydude is his own person, and he’ll only become more independent from me as the months and years go by. I should take heart that at least he will do so under the care of two parents who love him (almost) equally.