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It’s in the Genes

There’s no doubt that my wife is my daughter’s birth mother. They have the same outlandish sense of humor, cracking each other up over and over at the dinner table and making it practically impossible to keep a straight face during a conversation. As light-hearted as they are I am serious so it’s saying something that I am helpless in the face of their ridiculousness.

I told my daughter she was a silly goose. HONK HONK she said.

They have the same smile and when they smile two tiny dimples pop into the same spots. In RR’s case, those dimples nearly always precede some string of toddler nonsense words that sends her into fits of laughter.

She knocked over a glass of ice water a restaurant and, as the contents hit the table, she quietly muttered “ice ice baby bum bum bada bum”.

RR wads her whole body up and cackles in anticipation when Debra comes to put her to bed. I read a story. I sing a song. RR calls MAMMMMAAA. Debra comes and lays her down. In music class we do a stomp clap* (I use we loosely, as I am unable to do this) and one night Debra came into RR’s room shaking her butt and stomp clapping while I sang and my daughter curled into herself laughing and then exploded out in a ball of hysterical energy. Now this happens every night. You’d think she wouldn’t be able to fall asleep. She does. She’s nothing like me.

But then!

On Sunday, we went to a Fun Fair (i.e. fund-raising event) for RR’s school. The entire town was socked in with low clouds and persistent rain, driving the fun inside, deflating the bounce houses and cramming nearly 100 people into a tiny little house. We’d have stayed home but there was a raffle to win (we didn’t) and a nature walk for me to staff (there wasn’t). My volunteer shift had moved inside to a birdseed bag-making station and, let me tell you, I’ve never been so happy to volunteer for something.

Bringing the fair inside meant wall to wall people and my usual approach to that much carbon dioxide (fleeing) wasn’t an option. Of course I volunteered to lead the nature walk. Away from all these people! Sitting down for my birdseed shift meant that I had a built in bit of personal space by way of a table and a line of diligent birdseed scooping children. I also had RR. Glued to my lap.

RR has never been a cuddler. And when she does snuggle up, it’s on Debra. You know that fear parents have that their kid will play favorites? We live it. But all of a sudden my child was pasted to my chest, pressing her head against my shoulder and trying to twist around to put her back to the room. She didn’t say it but the message was clear as day. She’d take cuddling with me over being shuffled along in rooms packed with people. Not just people, knees and thighs, which is really all someone of RR’s stature can see.


I don’t want this to be the trait my kid gets from me but I’d be lying if I didn’t say I didn’t soak up every last bit of that crowd-induced cuddling.

* I tried, and failed to find a video of this. Essentially, it’s just stomping your feet with a clap in between. I’m sure you can do this. I cannot.









7 Responses

  1. Oh, man. I am musical in plenty of ways, but the stomp clap is weak in me. My college a capella group did a sing with that, and even though I love that song (coincidentally, it’s the one starrhillgirl referred to in her past last night), I straight up feared that last verse.

    The ice, ice, baby scene is priceless.

  2. I love the ice ice baby. I can only hope we have a kid as witty as RR.

  3. Still laughing at ‘ice ice baby’.

  4. She sounds awesome, that little RR! I hope my girl grows up as witty as she is!

  5. heheheh love her Vanilla Ice rendition. Perhaps a Halloween costume idea?

    Please video yourself doing the stomp clap!!! Pleeeeeeaaaaaassssseeee!! 😀

    We deal with the mama favoritism thing too. Since I’m the one who says “no”. lol

  6. We have the same issues with the ‘favorites’ thing. Except completely opposite. I’m the birth mother, but K is the stay at home mom and she gets way more lovin’ and Punky is more like her than me!

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