I often worry that I take this guy for granted... he is an absolute hero in this family and he definitely doesn't always get the credit he deserves for that. He works hard for us in his day job, and then comes home and does it all over again mucking in with everything that being a daddy, husband and general family man entails.
And lately he's been more than picking up the "mummy-is-pregnant/sick/uncomfortable/emotional" slack. He jumps out of bed at the first murmurs from the children, so that I can have some extra time to sleep. Even on Father's Day when I got up with the kiddos so he could have a very rare lay in, he got up too and said that pregnant tired people beat Father's Day every time. He often takes over bath time at the other end of the day too, when I've just hit a wall after teaching dance classes, and then being mummy and I reach the point where I just need to sit. I don't know what I'd do without him... no, actually I do... I'd be grumpier and I'd more than likely fall apart on a daily basis.
But more importantly than all the amazing fatherly and husbandly things he does for me to make my life happier and easier... the children just adore him.
The thing that never stops amazing me is how different his relationship is with the two children. He always treats them as such individuals and while they both seem to bring out different things in him, he brings out different things in them too.
With our beautiful boy he pushes hard (sometimes a little too hard I think) but he has such high hopes and expectations for him, and the little man always comes right up to meet them. He is gently instilling in him all those important things about how to be a gentleman; about letting ladies go first, about looking out for his sister, about being brave, but also about how good it is to have a big cuddle and to be silly. I can say without a shadow of a doubt that the little man looks up to his daddy in a big way, he wants to be just like him when he's bigger.
Sometimes it's as if our beautiful girl has a totally different daddy though, because with her he is totally soft. Their relationship is one that has only really flourish fairly recently; as she's always been more of a mama's girl. But they have such a cute little bond now and I just love watching them together. She gets slack cut by him for being younger or for being a girl, in a way that I never ease off. And I don't actually think that's a bad thing, because he treats her like the little princess that all little girls are supposed to feel like when they look at their daddies. I often have to remind him that she's just as tough as her big bro (possibly even more so) and that he doesn't need to treat her like she'll break. But at the same time I love that he treats her like she might... because one day when she's out there looking for someone to spend her life with, I hope she'll pick someone based on the example he's set for her.
I know that he's going to be just as great with the new baby when she comes. I also know that the chances are that the new baby will make him even closer to his bigger two, as I will inevitably be caught up in the all consuming nature of a newborn with all the fun of the fourth trimester and breastfeeding and getting to know her. I'm intrigued to see if he'll have a different relationship again, whether he'll be braver and more involved in the newborn days as it's the third time around; and whether he might officially claim this new one as a daddy's girl from the start. Time will tell I guess.
But I know that when I look at him with our children, I couldn't be more glad that we chose this life together. Yes, he is often a big kid himself, and I have no doubt thats a big part of what makes him such a fun play thing to the children, but I am so glad that he is the man on this planet that they get to call "Daddy"... even if he does think that nose picking and "quick pull my finger" are important life skills to learn.