I have been sick in bed for the past three days. I do not know what kind of killer virus attached itself to me but it kicked my butt hard which meant that I was physically not able to take care of Tessie or do much of anything for Blake and Ellie either. This would present quite a dilemma were I not married to the man that I am married to.
Charlie is the definition of a 'hands on' father.
When Blake was born he changed her first poop (and was even overheard muttering "even her poop is cute"), gave her her first bath and got up in the night, every other night, to do the night time feedings. When Ellie was born it was the exact same scenario. He was right there for everything. And he loved it (well, the poopy diapers eventually got old).
And there were many people who made comments to us when I was pregnant with The Toots about how we must be trying for a boy and wouldn't we be disappointed if the baby was a girl? I was pissed but my hubby pretty much took it in stride as he told people, "Anything that I would do with a boy I can do with my girls so why would I need to have a boy?"
And he meant it. He has taken the girls canoeing down the Saco river, White water rafting, camping on class trips at Acadia, taught them to build birdhouses, how to ride a go-Kart and a fourwheeler, made them tire swings, zip lines, tree forts, and nearly every other conceivable thing you can think of while insisting that they help so that they can learn how to do it for themselves. Often times I could be heard shouting something along the lines of, "Don't let them do that! They are going to get hurt!" With his maddeningly calm response of, "They'll be fine."
And even though everything about Tessie, her needs, and how she interacts with the world has basically been different then with Blake and Ellie, he has made sure that she gets the same 'daddy' treatment as the other two girls even if he has to tweak how he manages to do it.
I have gone outside to find him riding with her in his lap on the four-wheeler and while I stop to have a small heart attack, I can hear her giggling. Or he'll tell her he is going to take her on the sled in the snow and while I fuss about her catching a cold or something equally neurotic, he takes her out and piles the sled with blankets and tows her around the yard. Or sits outside in the evening with her on his lap in front of the chiminea with the fire dancing off of their faces while she looks on enraptured by her daddy.
These past few days I have watched him change poopy diapers, make up Tessie's formula, get her ready for bed, make sure she has had her meds, and basically do most of my job with few complaints and lots of love. He has signed permission slips for Blake and Ellie and made sure to get to both of their soccer games to cheer them on. But none of this is new for him. He has always been like this with his girls.
After all, these three girls are Charlie's Angels...