Heather was out of town for work the last few days (something I’m sure she’ll tell you about tomorrow) so this weekend it was all Annie and Daddy all the time! Taking care of a baby alone is exhausting, but it’s also very rewarding. I remember when Maddie was eight-months-old Heather went to a friend’s Bachelorette Party, and Maddie and I were alone overnight for the first time. I was initially a bit nervous, but around three or four in the morning Maddie snuggled up next to me, let out a content little sigh, and all was right with the world.
Annie and I did some good bonding this weekend as well, and I introduced her to important things Heather had thus far neglected to such as the Rocky movie series and George Harrison’s early Seventies solo albums.
Also, through the magic of Skype, we got the chance to see and chat with Heather. Annie was initially frightened and burst into tears upon seeing her Mommy cooing at her from within a computer screen, but she very quickly was smiling and giggling at her Mommy as if there was nothing weird at all that she now existed on a computer screen and not in the flesh in front of her.
On Saturday night my parents and my sister & family were in town, so we all met up for dinner. My nephews (Spencer, 5, and Danny, 3) were far more interested in Annie this time than they were the last time they saw her because…in the interim…Annie has become THE AMAZING ANNABEL!!! My sister explained that the boys are obsessed with The Amazing Annabel video, and watch it over and over. Every. Single. Day.
Upon my arriving with Annie the boys crowded around the stroller and peered in at her in awe. Danny quickly lost interest in the real live Amazing Annabel when she failed to do something “amazing”, then snatched his Dad’s iPhone so he could watch The Amazing Annabel video one more time.
Spencer, however, continued to stare at Annie a long beat, mesmerized, before asking, “Is Annie really a superhero, Uncle Mike?” Since Spencer was still being told that Santa and the Easter Bunny were real, I replied, “Yes. She certainly is.”
Our conversation further unfolded like this:
SPENCER: “How does she fly then?”
ME: “The same way Superman does.”
SPENCER: “How does Superman fly?”
ME: “You tell me.”
SPENCER: “His cape?”
ME: “Yup. The cape has a lot to do with the ability to fly. If you remember, in the video Annie had on quite the cape.”
SPENCER: “So she can fly.”
SPENCER: “Can she fly right now?”
ME: “Nope. She forgot her cape at home.”
SPENCER: “Darn it.”
ME: “Stinks, huh?”
SPENCER: “In the other video where she was a policeman, how much of it was fake?”
ME: “Fake? Not a single frame!”
SPENCER: “So Annabel really drove a car?”
ME: “Yes, but only long enough to shoot the scene, and then I grabbed the wheel and took over. You know, ‘cause it’s not really safe to let a baby drive too long.”
SPENCER: “Annie’s a pretty neat baby, Uncle Mike.”
ME: “I think so too, buddy.”
All in all Annie and I had a great weekend together except for one annoying moment. On the way out of the restaurant a woman smiled at me and said, “Babysitting tonight, aye?” People made this comment to me before when I was alone with Maddie, and it always rubbed me the wrong way, as if fathers were nothing more than fill-ins for mothers. Back then I just nodded, caught off guard, but not this time. This time I replied:
“Not babysitting. Just parenting.”
As much as I’m capable of taking care of Annie by myself, there’s nothing like having mommy home. We missed her!