It feels to me like the daddy to an adult baby or ‘little’ boy has all the pleasure and joy in the relationship.
There are moments with a little guy that are almost heart-breaking they seem so wonderful: there’s the way his eyes droop closed as you give him his bottle, there’s the way he wraps his arms around you in appreciation after you put him in a clean diaper, or there’s the way he lights up when you walk into a toy store.
For a daddy, those little moments are reminders of how special it is that the world has room for people who have the courage to express the child inside and who give the gift of letting someone else care for them, cherish them and protect them.
The daddy has to do so little and gets so much in return: he creates a safe space for someone to express the little boy inside, he makes sure to check his diaper and that his paci doesn’t roll under the couch, and what he gets is a way of looking at the world that is all the reward he can ever need.
A Boy Asleep
For me, one of the most amazing moments is when he’s asleep.
Maybe you settled him into his crib for the night and return an hour or so later to see if he’s OK, and find him sleeping soundly, his paci still in his mouth and an arm wrapped around his teddy bear.
Or maybe it’s that moment in the morning when you go in to check on him and get him up and find he’s still sleeping, his hair all mussed up and a nearly empty bottle tucked in under his covers.
As you look at your little guy you feel a sense of peace and warmth – you wonder what he’s dreaming, whether he feels safe in his crib, and you hope that he’s comfy in his sleeper or onesie.
Then, you might wonder whether his diaper will hold out until morning. You might very gently lean in to check him – if he’s a bit wet you realize he’ll probably be OK until morning but you also feel assured that he needs his diapers and that you’re glad you can keep him snug in his protection.
In the morning, you’ll find, of course, that his diaper is wet. You might remember the time when he woke up with you checking him and told you that he didn’t remember wetting – that he had wet his diaper in his sleep, and you recall the look in his eyes as he realized that he really did need you to diaper him at night.
And in those moments before he wakes up and you look in on your sleeping little boy, you’ll feel grateful that he has given you the gift of being in your life and wonder why daddy’s are so lucky to have so much spirit and tenderness in their lives in a world that sometimes seems like it could use a lot more.