Monday, April 27, 2009

Splashy Splashy

Stephen here again. Time for another update from Jesstine's Daddy. I have to admit I'm tickled no end by Jesstine apparently recognizing me as "Da-Da." She will say it on command, and seems to be associating it with me. I'm drawing this conclusion because when she wakes up and needs changing, food, etc., she always tends to go on about "Ma-Ma." But when we're just hanging out and playing (and when I'm around), she'll be much more likely to say "Da-Da."

However, I constantly wonder if I'm letting her down. Lacie loves playing with her, but I never seem to know what to do. I love being around her, but I struggle to find ways to "play" with her (without just copying "Mommy's" tricks, which I want to keep special for her). This weekend was a good example.

I stayed with Jesstine (just the two of us) on Saturday while Lacie attended a women's conference at a local church with her sisters and mother. With the whole day to ourselves ,we played..... nothing unusual at all. The highlight of the day was walking over to Grandmom's to wish her luck before her students' piano recital. I don't feel a "connection" with Jesstine in the stroller. The rest of the time, she played with her toys and I just kinda hung around and watched.

Now contrast that with a span of about 30 minutes with my nephew Conrad and his little sister Lexi. Lacie's sister Grace stopped by Sunday with her family to briefly refresh before heading back home to OKC. The older kids ("older" being 3 and 5) were tearing the place apart waiting for everyone to get ready to go. On top of that, they were facing the daunting prospect (for a little kid) of a 3-hour car ride. So I took them outside to play. Even though it was sprinkling, we managed to race, jump, play piggy-back rides and do fun stuff for several minutes. I had a great time racing around the driveway, playing hide-and-seek, and just being silly with them for half an hour (probably much to my physical detriment. After battling some type of head cold the past few days, I ended up with a mild fever last night and a wicked sore throat). The question is how I could so easily play and have fun with Conrad and Lexi but not with my own daughter. I hope it's largely just an age thing......

Anyway, this is really just a long-winded way of setting up the video clip(s) you're dying to see. I don't get many unique opportunities to play with Jesstine. One that I'm happy to own, however, is bathtime. Of course, Lacie also does bathtime on occasion (typically Wednesday nights), but it's kinda become my special time to have fun with Jesstine. There are silly songs, crazy faces, and lots of smiles. But until recently, Jesstine hasn't been mobile enough to really "play" in the bathtub. So you can imagine my joy to see her start doing this......

I couldn't stop laughing with her. Now bathtime can be even more fun than ever before! All we have to do is find a way to keep the water off the walls. I look forward to playing with ducks and boats while Jesstine gets clean. Before, any toy in the tub with her was subject to little more than a good chew. Now she realizes the potential for mayhem with the water. All that's left is to add the water mayhem to her toys and voila'! Bathtime magic! Or at least, bathtime laughs.

But all you parents out there are probably just shaking your heads in warning. Yes, she's having fun all right, but now how will you ever actually get her bathed? It's a good question. In fact, it's already an issue. Check out what happened subsequent to the previous video, only after I had "calmed her down" and prepared to finish the bath.

That's my girl. I just hope this is the start of many more fun bathtimes to come, and not the start of tiresome wrestling matches trying to get a certain squirmy wormy clean!


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