My husband is a baby whisperer. He didn’t know it at the time, but it’s how he reeled me in in the first place. His sister had a baby, and I melted, watching his tenderness and love for the tiny infant. He was only 18, but was completely comfortable with the little one, and had perfect instincts when it came to caring for her. From bouncing and swaying while singing to helping her learn milestones, he was an integral part of his infant niece’s life.
It’s a couple of decades later, and our youngest is turning 11 in a few weeks. (what?!) The baby whisperer is also the toddler whisperer, the tween whisperer and even the autism whisperer. (He is not, by any means, the teenage girl whisperer, that is where the boundary of his magic lies and my territory begins.) I joked that I had to breastfeed our babies just to get a chance to hold them every few hours. My husband is phenomenal.
Daddy gets shouts and accolades every time he walks in the door, if our house was “Cheers,” he would be Norm. Daddy gets first choice of everything. Daddy is the end all and be all in our family, and I am the last choice. If the kids notice when I walk in the door it’s to ask what’s for supper.
It’s not hard to get a little butt-hurt about it. I’m so very thankful that my husband is fun, funny, and brings light and joy to our family, but sometimes my nose gets out of joint when he’s a celebrity and I’m just the chief cook and bottle washer.
Then I noticed the flip side.
Daddy is also in demand as the primary butt-wiper, the put-them-back-in-bed-at-2am-er, and the best darn puke pan holder in the galaxy. Daddy has superior ear-cleaning and tooth-brushing skills, and even giving medicine is best done by the child-whisperer.
Daddy is in demand for good and for bad, and he rises to the occasion, whether taking the boys for a ride in the truck, or choosing and buying each family member Christmas gifts without being asked. And he has saved me thousands of butt wipes.
My job as mom isn’t glamorous. I’m steady, ready, and keep things under control. I manage the day-to-day ins and outs like calendars and meal planning that get little attention unless they’re left undone. And I’m totally okay with that.
I’ll play second fiddle, with gratitude and grace. I’m so very thankful for my baby, child, and especially autism whisperer, and realize the treasure that I have in my spouse. I knew I was on to something when I fell head over heels for that 18-year-old baby whisperer.