Lately, we've deluded ourselves into thinking we're getting the hang of this parenting thing. Our daughter digs us. She looks straight into our eyes, laughs at our jokes and smiles like she just won a pie-eating contest whenever we're nearby. We are so cool.
We learned how we really rank today when we met a rival for her affections, something so fascinating and endlessly amusing that we can't hope to compete.
Hope has discovered the ceiling fan. We may never win her back.
We will hold her, tickle her belly, coo and goo. She'll like it OK. Then, it happens: Off, over our shoulder, she will spot it a few feet away. Her eyes widen. Her mouth slackens. She succumbs to its allure.
Hope is transfixed. And who can blame her? Sometimes, it goes fast. Sometimes, slow. Always, round and round. That's tall company.
Hope rewards the fan with full-body, giggling delight smiles the likes of which are far more euphoric than the "Hee, hee! OK, I see you already" grins she bestows on us.
Like a lot we've learned so far in parenting, it's a bit humbling. Hope's happiness is a primary concern. Besides health, it's what we want most, so we'll take it however it comes. But a fan? A clock maybe. A blinking alarm clock for sure. But a stinking fan?
Full disclosure moment: We don't even rank #2 behind the fan. That distinction goes to lights. They are bright and full of, well, light. Hope will smile in our arms, full of mirth and glee. We will congratulate ourselves on developing such a rapport with our sweet princess, then realize she's looked past us for 10 minutes and is enjoying a special moment with a lightbulb.
Again, it's tough to argue. Lights help you see. But for those keeping score at home, Hope's true loves are in order: Fans; lights; that special lady who birthed her from her loins, feeds her eight times a day, comforts her amid the sorrows, lavishes her with hugs and cleans our her eye boogers; and that dork with the video camera.
We had a moment of pause when we worried unnatural fascination with fans was a sign of a developmental delay. Then, we discovered page upon page online of perplexed parents of newborns who also can't compete with rotating blades.
So we'll take it. If Hope is happy, we're happy. And hey, Lulu still thinks we're pretty cool. Then again, she eats her own vomit.