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!
Soumds like you and Annie had quite the weekend. I hope she was still able to save the world at the same time!
Nancy Smego says:
LOL. Let’s hope your nephew doesn’t go home and put a blanket on as a cape and try to jump off of some high place! I love that you’re so involved with Annie’s life. You two are great parents.
I, too, hate the whole daddy=babysitter bit…my husband says it as a joke sometimes. Or I’ll say, “Thanks for babysitting for me tonight.” ha ha Love that you had a quick response. And, wow, look at that cheeky baby in the last picture….I’m thinking it’s close to impossible to not want to smooch those all day long!
We get that a lot here, luckily Bill knows to respond “it’s called parenting… not babysitting. maybe you’ve heard of it?”
We also joke about it, but with people who are serious, the eye rolls are hard core
I LOVED that.
My coworkers are notorious for requesting time off for “babysitting” their own kids.
Good to see that some daddies don’t look at it that way.
Sounds like a fun weekend. Kids are so gullible, I love it!
As for the babysitting thing, my husband gets that all the time because he is a stay home dad, and he HATES it too.
Annie is beautiful!
Sara K. says:
I think Annie looks so much like you, Mike, especially in that first pic! Sometimes I see Heather in her, but most times I see you. Do you guys hear that a lot? That Annie looks like you? I’ve always wondered
Good for you for telling the lady that it’s called PARENTING, not babysitting! Dad’s play just as an important role in parenting as Mom’s do!
Loving the last pic! Those cheeks are so smooshy, they are just begging for kisses!!! “Muahh!”
Love those chubby cheeks.
Kudos to your response Mike.
I agree! The whole baby-sitting thing rubs me the wrong way!!! No one would dream of saying that to a mother, so why is it okay to say it to a dad? I’m so pleased you had a quick mind and were able to think of a smart reply! Had it been me, I would have stood there like an idiot and then spent the rest of the evening thinkng of things I should have said! My husband says that when he’s out with our son he gets looks from others like they are thinking …”look at the poor idiot dad got stuck with the baby and hasn’t got a clue!”. It drives him nuts!
Good on you for saying something about “babysitting.” I never say my husband is “babysitting” when he is alone with our boys.
And yes, Skype makes traveling away from kids so much easier. I just did a lot of Skyping with my boys, and it made my trip easier for everybody.
What a great weekend for you and the Amazing Annabel. I love how she is already the “cool” cousin to your nephews.
I am glad you responded to “babysitting”. What a crass thing to say to a dad. That one and “my husband is my other child” drive me nuts.
Love the retort! Glad you had such a lovely weekend.
Love the conversation between you & Spencer!!! AND,,,,,, So glad that you had a quick comeback when the lady stated that you must be babysitting. Good for you, MIke!!!! Bet she won’t say that again!!
Annie is definitley amazing, with and with out her cape!! And OMG those cheeks….nom, nom, nom!!
oh that babysitting thing has always sat funny with me as well..
I know my partner has told me he feels he has to prove himself when alone with any of the kids- first prove he didn’t snatch some unknowing innocent out from the rightful ovary baring guardian…
or that he doesn’t have beer stashed in the diaper bag using someone’s unsuspecting child as a babe magnet…
good answer..although I am sure you were doing so much more than *just* parenting that sweet bean of yours.
Mike just wanted to tell you that not only am I glad that you had an amazing weekend with her but that the babysitting comment has always bothered me as well. My husband and I are both parents and I am not babysitting when he is gone so I beleive he deserves the same respect when I am gone. Great answer by the way!
As a mother, I HATE when people say that when I’m out sans children. I always reply, “no, he’s being a patent.”
Mike, you are an awesome dad/parent, you really are, and what a low blow for someone to call what you do “babysitting”. I’m glad you had a quick response.
Annie is gorgeous!
Love the reply, Mike. Truly excellent. Would love to see the Dad-as-Babysitter misconception end in our generation. Nicely played, sir.
Good for you Mike! You certainly are “parenting” not “baby-sitting”! I get annoyed when people say that to my husband, (and he does too, so he always complains about it when it happens while I’m gone) -that is a great response you had; I’m going to share it with Bill.
Great response Mike! You make an excellent point, and I hope your reply made that woman think about what she said.
Alethea Fitzpatrick says:
Ooh, good response to the babysitting remark!
What a great weekend for you and Annabel. I have begun taking classes again while working fulltime which means my husband gets lots of Drew and Daddy time. Afterward, they seem as thick as theives. Time alone with Daddy is very important because we mommies tend to rush in and take over when we do not always need to.
Not babysitting – being her daddy. Awesome way to shut the mouth of an ignorant person. I think we are all so excited because we’ve all gotten rude comments like that!
Carrie P. says:
Spencer sounds like a cute kid. Great response. I think it’s so silly when people say that a dad is “babysitting”. It’s their child(ren), too, for goodness sakes!
What a fun weekend! I’m happy that you got some solid one-on-one time with Miss Annie (who looks just like you, BTW). You are such a great dad. I love, love, LOVE Spencer’s questions! One day he will look back on this blog entry and smile.
always home and uncool says:
When that woman pulled out the babysitting comment, you should have done the “dumb dad” routine and seen if you could have conned her into changing a diaper. Or maybe breastfeeding.
Glad you two had a good one, Mike. Cheers!
Nice comeback for the parenting comment. I love it!
Sounds like a great weekend! Even if people are well-meaning, the “babysitting” vs. “parenting” comments would bother me too!
All three of my kiddos are OBSESSED with the Annabel videos. They request them often. Let’s see the “cute baby movies.”
Katie in WI says:
My husband doesn’t like to be called a babysitter either. You had a great response.
Loved this post.
Sounds like you guys had a great weekend.
My husband doesn’t like being called a babysitter. I like your response, I’ll have to tell him to use that one next time.
Jen L. says:
Good Daddy! Glad it was a fun weekend.
Dads being regarded as babysitters is a HUGE pet-peeve of mine. My husband has changed just as many diapers and been spit up on just as many times as I have. I also use the word PARENTING. Good for you for putting that lady in her place (in a very gentlemanly fashion).
Also, if Bampa ever wondered whether Heather was really his daughter, all he would need to do is look at that last picture.
The Suburban Housewife says:
Good for you for saying something to that woman. My husband takes our four girls out every weekend, and he still gets that same comment almost every time.
Glad you two had a fun weekend together!
Kelly Maguire says:
Excellent response to the “babysitting” question!
Best response ever. My WAH dad was my primary caregiver growing up, and it always drove my crazy how people talked to him about parenting.
I love that your nephews are hooked on the Amazing Annabel series.
I love your nephew’s amazement with Annabel. It is so adorable. Glad you have a great weekend!
Great reply to the woman who asked if you were babysitting. A friend’s husband calls any time he spends with his kids without mom around “babysitting,” and I’ve said to him more than once, “It’s not babysitting if the child is yours!”
Snickrsnack Katie says:
I DETEST when I hear fathers saying they are babysitting. I always say the same thing as you – it isn’t babysitting, it is parenting. And if they don’t look at it that way, then they aren’t real fathers.
You are such a great dad!
I LOVE your response to that woman in the restaurant! That’s what Graham and I always say, too. My step-brother “babysits” his own kids all the time.
Glad you and Annie had some great bonding time!
Trisha Vargas says:
That was an awesome reply about babysitting.
Yay for Annie & Daddy bonding!!
(((HUGS))) from Florida
Adventures In Babywearing says:
Ah- she is too much. This is so sweet.
I’m going to give that one to my husband!!
Glad you had so much fun with Annie on your own. The boys’ responses to her were priceless now that she is a SUPER baby!
That’s great that you got to spend one on one time with Annie!!
Quirky Jessi says:
I don’t even know if I’ve posted here before, but I’m an avid reader. I just wanted to stop by and say that you had a *great* response to what the woman said and I’m so glad you took the time/thought to actually say it. I hate when people assume that about daddies, too, and happy to know that you aren’t just on ‘babysitting duty’.
Ashley Stapleton says:
love that you called the lady out about the babysitting… that is something that totally bugs me… Dad’s are never babysitting you are right it is called parenting… the babysitters are those that do not share DNA… good work Mike
OMG! The chub. I’m in love with the chub! Annie is simply yummy looking – especially when she is sleeping on you or Heather.
My husband responds with – “my daughter doesn’t like babysitters but she sure likes her Daddy!” when people ask him about babysitting. Perhaps off putting but it ticks him off to.no.end.
I’m so glad to see you writing Mike. I think about you often and hope you are doing okay although I know that some days are hard. Just know that someone in Georgia is hoping that the bad days are far overshadowed by the good ones!
Glad ya’ll had fun! And well put, Daddies really are the other half of the parenting team. I think it’s just easily forgotten because Mommy’s are usually (not always) first responder. And I think sometimes it’s hard for Mommies to let the Daddies be in charge because it infinately goes against our (and when I say our I mean My) need to be in control of absolutely everything. I’m glad for you and Annie that you were able to have some bonding time.
It annoys the heck out of me when people refer to dad’s as “baby sitters!” When our children were little my friends would say their husbands were baby sitting and I would say, “are you sure they aren’t just taking their turn as the other parent????”
I loved the conversation you had with Spencer!
The next time a dad tells me he’s babysitting his kids, I think I’m going to reply, “Oh? Do you get an hourly wage to do this? Like a real babysitter?”
@@ <—- my eyes rolling….
Jenni Williams says:
Sounds like an awesome weekend. I HATE that dad babysitting comment, great come back Mike! Love the last picture, just want to smooch her.
That? Was a fabulous comment to that woman! PERFECT!!!
Sounds like you had a great weekend with your little lady. You are a great daddy!
That is so cute about your nephews ‘believing in’ the Amazing Annabel! She is amazing, though. … I am going to have to ask my brothers (both very much hands-on dads) if anyone has ever said that “babysitting” remark to them. That’s kind of rude even though she probably thought she was being funny. She’s lucky the Amazing Annabel didn’t let her have it!
Ok, I just saw some of the comments before I was leaving the website and it looks like that babysitter comment is common. What the??? Who goes up to a stranger and says that? And I thought it was probably just her. That’s kind of sad that people either really think that or that they think it’s a funny thing to say. Oh well. At least you said something back.
She is just precious and those cheeks! nom nom nom
Great response re. parenting! … And oh goodness — Mike and Annie = TWINS! You two look just alike!
“Not babysitting. Just parenting.”
Love that! And so true!
The only thing I hate more than people commenting to dads that they are”babysitting”….is overhearing dads complain that they are “babysitting.”
Glad you aren’t that kind of dad!
It irritates me when I leave the house without my kids and people ask if my husband is babysitting. I’m always quick to let them know that a parent spending time with their kids is not babysitting. My husband is just as capable as I am of parenting our children, so referring to it as babysitting doesn’t give him the credit he deserves.
Nice comeback to the woman who asked if you were babysitting. I’m going to tell my husband to use that next time someone says that to him. He too, is rankled by that. You don’t babysit for your own child.
Expat Mom says:
While I love that you feel it’s parenting to be with your daughter, I know a lot of guys (my hubby included back in the beginning) who feel that it’s NOT their job to look after the kids. They do consider it babysitting and feel they should get something in return. Drives me nuts, because there really are two parents . . . not one and the babysitter!
And you’re an amazing Dad.
LOL- love the comment, Mike! I think from now on when someone asks me that I’ll say, surprised, “Oh no, she’s his child!”
Love the kid conversation and the photo of Annie snoozing…she’s gorgeous!
Love the answer to the babysitting comment. I think that is so ridiculous to say Dads are babysitting.
Mike I love the comment about father’s babysitting. It always sounds so off to hear a father referred to as a babysitter.
We should never underestimate the longing for, nor the power of a loving father in a child’s life. Your beautiful relationships with both of your daughters have been so lovely to read about.
How dear the story of your nephews and the Amazing Annabel…so tiny and she spreads magic wherever she goes!
“Not babysitting, just parenting.” You are the best Mike! Oh so many dad’s look at taking care of their own children as babysitting! It’s not babysitting when you have your own children! Good job, Daddy!
AMEN on your response to the ‘babysitting’ comment! I find that so irritating. And believe it or not, some fathers actually refer to it that way themselves. They should know better!
Love the pic of Heather and Annie at the end – so sweet!
Rita from the Chicago says:
“Not babysitting. Just parenting.” Awesome! I’ll have to share that one with my husband (and soon to be daddy!)
I have a friend who, when I try to make plans with says she has to ask her husband if he’ll babysit. They’re his kids too, that comment annoys me so much. Great reply Mike!
Joey White says:
Ya MIKE! So glad you told her you were parenting. I hate when my husband has the kids and someone says he is “babysitting”. I always get so miffed. He is their dad, not the babysitter!!
I LOVE that you let your nephews believe in the AMAZING Annabel!! Imagination is lost TOO quickly on our kids these days!
And Mike, I’m glad you spoke up!! Dads don’t JUST babysit! Good job!
I hate it when people say dads are babysitting! Good for you for correcting that lady! Even my 7 year old knows that it’s parenting, not babysitting…and he doesn’t hesitate to correct people either, “It’s not babysitting if it’s my dad!”
Amanda M. says:
That’s a good response! Anyone can be a babysitter, but you’re DADDY.
Ms. Moon says:
That last picture cracked my heart in two.
Heather@Triple Blessing says:
I love the line “not babysitting, just parenting.” I get so frustrated when people ask “How do you get your husband to babysit the kids?” I usually reply with “You mean, how do I get my husband to spend quality time with his kids?…I don’t even have to ask.”
what a good daddy!
Be careful that Spencer doesn’t test out Annie’s “flying ability” next time he’s alone with her!!
Marti from Michigan says:
YES for daddies who get involved! Go Mike!!!
For a short while, a few years ago, my granddaughter and her 3 brothers had to go into foster care because of a problem at home. It was frustrating. They were gone for one full week and my daughter was nursing at the time. Katie was only 6 months old at the time. The foster care people could not get her to eat from a bottle, and she lost a bit of weight that week. When my daughter finally got her back, Katie was wide eyed with wonder, until the second my daughter started nursing her. Katie let out a huge sigh, and knew from then on where she belonged. She nursed like a trooper and gained all her weight back and then some.
Babies just know.
Both of those pictures are perfect! I love how animated Annie looks in the first and how relieved and comforted both A and H look in the second.
I always hate it when people, especially women, ask if my husband is babysitting. My standard reply is that you do not babysit your own children. Then I hear the old adage about how much moms do. Granted there are many moms who may do a lot of the routine tasks, however dads are just as important, and there are many who do not get the acknowledgment that they deserve.
Lia in Florida says:
haha Annie is like the most amazing baby ever. sooo adorable. her cheeks are delicious.
Amen on the “not babysitting, just parenting” comeback. That always annoys the crap out of me when people say that. It totally devalues fathering without adding anything to mothering. Pet peeve. Grrrrr….
Also, the conversation with your nephew was hilarious.
Alexandra :) says:
LOL! Looks like there will have to be an Amazing Annabel sequel!
Way to go Mike!!! So glad you corrected those ladies! My husband and I JUST had this conversation about men “babysitting” their own children. Like they are just a back up parent or something. Once every month or so I get together with my girlfriends from high school. Some of them are ready to go after an hour or so b/c the hubby has the kids. ARE YOU SERIOUS??? He can only care for his children for 2 hours??? My wonderful husband sounds a lot like you! When my oldest was 10 weeks old my husband was working from home and taking care of the baby while I worked. Both of my boys feel just as secure with their daddy as they do with me. Cheers to you, Mike!!
Awww, Spencer is the cutest!
“Not babysitting. Just parenting.”
^^AWESOME response Mike! Father’s are just as much parents as mother’s are. Saying otherwise is just letting them off the hook to be babysitters (as you’ve stated in this entry); which just isn’t so. Not a real father anyway.
Glad you and Annie had some alone time. ;o)
P.S. The Rocky movies are THE BEST! =D
Lynda M O says:
Mike, I detest that assumption that because you are “not the mama” you must be filling in for the mama. You are a great parent and Annie sure looks settled and content to be with you.