Owl is all about the Dada these days.
I wish I could say that this resulted in him being less interested in my boobas, but that is not the case. I am still Milk Bags and expected to lactate at his beck and call.
But Dada is FUN BAGS.
A friend of mine is a social worker and one time I picked up one of her text books. It was all about families and stuff, and one chapter talked about the relationship between children and their father. It claimed that studies show that fathers tend to play in a more “creative” fashion with their kids. While mothers tend to stick to more “traditional” or mainstream games and songs when interacting with their kids, fathers tend to be more unpredictable, more physical, and invent crazy games.
This is certainly true of PH’s interactions with Owl. When Owl was 8 months old or so, he invented a new game. It was called “It’s On Owl’s Head”.
The game involved putting unusual objects on Owl’s head, and then announcing, “it’s on Owl’s head!”
A simple game, perhaps, but Owl thought it was the most brilliant game of all time.
The repertoire of games is larger now, consisting of such gems as “Shoulder Baby”, which involves Owl hanging on PH’s shoulder in a fireman carry. “Drunken Baby”, which consists of PH spinning Owl around in circles, carefully setting him down, and then giggling as Owl tries to walk in a straight line, and so on.
Last night Owl worked himself into hysterics by pretending to fall asleep on his Dada’s chest, and then popping his head up suddenly with a big grin. Dada pretended to be surprised each time. This was, apparently, THE FUNNIEST THING EVER.
Mama’s pretty fun too – we have Tickle Hand and the Kissing Game – but she just isn’t quite the same caliber as Dada when it comes to sheer AWESOME.
Nothing brings a smile to Owl’s face a quickly as asking him to point out Dada. He loves to spot Dada in pictures – the photo of us kissing on our computer desktop, the family photo on the fridge – Mama is old news but hey, look, THAT’S DADA!
Sometimes, he wakes up in bed with us at 5 am, spots Dada, and gets so excited that it takes a while to get him back to sleep.
This morning, PH had already left for work when Owl and I got up, and it took me a good ten minutes to convince a hopeful babby that Dada was not around.
“He’s at work, honey.”
“He’s at work, sweetie.”
Even the sight of the Xbox controller (disturbingly) is enough to trigger a suffusion of Dada enthusiasm.
“What are you pointing at, sweetie?”
“There’s no picture of Dada there, Owl. Are you trying to say DOG? There’s a picture of a DOG over there.”
*jabbing the controller with a finger*
“That’s not Dada, that’s an xbox controller.”
*pause, then emphatic baby-sign for “father”*
But Mama is crafty and has learned to use this Dada fandom for her own nefarious purposes.
This evening, as time drew nigh to pick PH up from his daily commute at the train station, I knew that suggesting we “go get Dada” would be the best way to get Owl’s attention and cooperation.
Even so, the sight of the coat had him folding his arms over his chest and running away as fast as his little legs could take him.
Normally I chase him down and stuff his arms in, but this time I just stood there, holding out the coat.
“Don’t you want to go get Dada?” I asked.
“Dada!” Owl gave me a big grin.
“Well, if you want to get Dada, we have to get Owl’s coat on,” I said reasonably.
We stared at each other for a moment, while Owl thought about this. I raised my eyebrows and let him weigh the choices.
His mouth creased into an impish smile as he measured me up.
“DADA!!” and he ran towards me and stuck his arm into his coat.
Willing to put his coat on voluntarily in order to see his father?
That’s proof of true love.
Grace Goldragon said:
I could have written this post! It’s funny because the Boy was *very* mistrustful of Mr. G when he was a newborn. He would cry if he was being held by anyone but Mummy. But now? Both kids swarm Daddy whenever he comes into the room. The Boy will follow him from room to room saying “Dadadadadadada!” And it’s exactly for the reasons you described. Daddy is way more fun than Mummy. There were a few mornings just recently, that the Boy would be getting his morning cuddle from Mr. G before he went to work, and the Boy just wouldn’t let go. I had to pull him from his Daddy’s arms, screaming and crying, so that he could get to work on time. And as you say, it’s not that his affection for me (or my boobs) are any less, it’s just that Daddy represents all things that are fun, and let’s face it, I’m around ALL THE TIME. “How can I miss you, Mummy, if you don’t go away?”
The pathetic thing is, I DO go away! But I go away LESS THAN DADA.
Also, if PH and I both show up to pick Owl up at daycare, he does insist on going to me first. Then, when he’s had his fill, he runs to Dada and giggles histerically while PH spins him upside down and Daycare Lady goes “PH! Be careful! HIS BRAIN!”
So, his priorities go:
Sassy Britches said:
Wow, can I relate to this post! Georgia worships her dada, I’m chopped liver most of the time. I pick her up from daycare every day and while she sometimes has big smiles and hugs for me, nothing lights her up like Dada coming through the door. I hear his car pull in, say Dada’s here, and wow the smile of recognition on her face. She positively squeals when he comes in. And while I know she is only learning, when I say Mama, she emphatically says DADA! Thanks peanut, I now know where I stand.
LOL I know. Since Owl never picked up the sign for Mama, and just called me “Milk” I know exactly what I am to him.
Toddler is pretty attached to both of us, but he, too, is in full on daddy-mode. Mama’s acceptable for comfort and food, but Daddy is who he wants the rest of the time.
I’m sure this hurts my feelings at 3am when Toddler wakes up, upset at being awake, and demands Daddy. Yup. Heartbroken as I lay in my cosy bed listening to Husband sing to him and try to convince Toddler that it’s time to sleep, not time to play.
I will warn you that I too told Toddler we were going to pick up Daddy a couple of times, and now he thinks whenever we go anywhere in the car, it is to pick up Daddy. He’s fine if Daddy doesn’t turn out to be at his friend’s house, but who betide the Mama who takes him to Home Depot or IKEA.
Ooh, thanks for the warning!
Wombat Central said:
Mommy = The enforcer; caretaker when sick
Daddy = Human jungle gym; expert fart noise maker
Well, PH is The Enforcer as well, but he enforces by using a BIG LOUD VOICE, which Owl thinks is VERY interesting, and therefore it is worth it to repeat the behavior just to see if the BIG LOUD VOICE reappears.
Grace Goldragon said:
We have a game in my family. It started with my Dad when me and my siblings were much smaller, and has since been handed down to Mr. G. It’s called Playground Daddy.
And here I thought you were going to write a blog post about experimental abstract art theory! My mistake 🙂
It’s telling that to you “DADA” goes to dadaism in your head, but to me, “DADA” goes to “Defence Against the Dark Arts”…
Also, the Xbox being “Dada” had me in stitches!