What Happened to Daddy's Little Girl?
It's A Girl
Once upon a time, not so long ago in fact, my wife gave birth to our second child, who to our surprise turned out to be a little girl.
The surprise wasn't the fact that my wife had given birth, after all she had been pregnant for around 9 months, but rather the fact that we both thought that baby was going to be a boy due to a small appendage which was seen on the ultrasound scan prior to the birth.
The other fact that led to our surprised expressions was that girls are a very rare occurrence in our family, with 14 male cousins and only one female cousin, Jennifer was only the second female born into a male dominated family
Just to prove the point my wife and I went on to have 2 more boys making three boys to one girl.
Daddy's Girl And Mommy's Boys
Scared Of Being A Dad
When my eldest son was born I tried to be the best father that I could be to him, I helped with all aspects of his up bringing such as bathing, feeding, winding and even changing his diaper when my nose told me it needed changing.
My wife and I shared the workload between us and we worked well as a team trying to give our son the best start in life that we possibly could, we even took alternative nights getting up for feeds and changing.
My son was thriving and I was learning more and more every day about his basic needs. My wife, my son and myself were bonding and growing stronger as a family every day.
Scared Of My Baby Girl
When my daughter was born, 18 months later, it came as a surprise to both of us that she was a she and although I was the same person and tried, as with my son, to be the best father that I could be to her I just didn't feel right about changing her diaper or bathing her.
Scared really isn't the way I felt, it was more of a paranoia that set into my mind and in the first few weeks I refused to change her dirty diapers or bathe her, I felt that it was inappropriate for me to even consider touching her below the waist. I am sure that most fathers who have baby girls feel the same way.
I eventually got over my paranoia because it just wasn't fair on my wife having to do almost everything for our daughter by herself, changing bathing and getting up every night of the week for feeds and changing.
Although still self conscious and ensuring that my wife was watching my every move I changed my daughters dirty diaper, on the same day again with my wife still supervising at my request I gave my daughter a bath.
Eventually the paranoia left me and I was doing all of the same things with my daughter as I had done and was still doing with my son without supervision.
Father Daughter Bonding
From early on it was clear that Jennifer was going to be a daddy's girl, just as it became clear that Robert, Bryan and Jason favored their mother.
When she cried, 9 times out of 10 she wouldn't settle down for anyone but her daddy, when she fell over it was daddy that she would run to crying, if she had some news form kindergarten she told it to daddy before she told mom, if she wanted a cuddle she came to daddy first, it was daddy she wanted to tuck her into bed at night with a story, the same as it was for mommy with the boys.
Please don't read this the wrong way, I love all of my children equally and have a great relationship and bond with my sons as well as my daughter and I would go to the ends of the earth for any one of my children.
Jennifer always chose her daddy over her mother, if mommy said to her "You should wear a coat outside because it is getting cold," Jennifer would turn to me and ask if I thought that she should wear a coat.
Daddy couldn't even sit on the sofa without Jennifer snuggling up to him, and all of this lasted up until just a few months ago just after her 14th birthday.
Daddy's Little Girl Grows Up
What Happened To My Little Girl?
All of a sudden my little girl grew up, one minute she was daddy's princess, next minute I was demoted to the guy who embarrasses her in public and in front of her friends, one minute we are walking down the road her arm linked with mine, the next she is at least 10 steps in front of me not even looking back to talk to me.
She used to be proud introduce me to her friends when we were out, now if she sees her friends in the street when she is with me, she will either try to avoid them or ask me to wait for her somewhere out of site while she goes and speaks with them and if asked who that guy is she answers "Oh that's just my dad."
At home things are different too,she used to be helpful around the house, washing dishes, vacuuming, dusting and asking if we needed any help with other chores. Now though if we ask her to do something to help her attitude stinks, a loud "Huh," then a few minutes of mumbling under her breath before she eventually asks "What did you ask me to do again?"
She barely talks anymore, she would rather be on her laptop or cellphone talking to her friends that contemplate speaking to her siblings or parents.
My advice is useless these days, if I say that she needs a coat to go out as it is quite cold she will ignore me and message one of her friends and ask them if they think she needs a coat.
I have been made reduntant from a couple of jobs in the past but I never ever thought that my own daughter would make me feel reduntant as a father.
Still Daddy's Girl
Although my little girl is a big girl now and doesn't rely on daddy as much as she used to, there is still a glimmer of hope that she still loves her daddy just as much as she ever did.
When she is upset, she still comes to daddy for comfort and hugs, when she cuts her finger or hurts herself she still comes crying to daddy, when she has news to tell she still tells daddy before mummy and on the rare occasion she will feel the need to snuggle up with daddy on the sofa.
No matter how old she gets or how distant she becomes she will always have daddy here to turn to when she needs him and in my heart she will always be daddy's little princess.