Whatever the malady that drove Mayor Pete and Chasten to the hospital (Get Well Soon!), I had quite the adorable little experience with my 13 month old daughter the other day. It definitely was a sign of the times.
Like most fathers, in the true sense of the word, I found myself feeling weary from spending several hours in all manner of mind-numbing activities with my daughter. And like most fathers, again, fathers, not homosexual men who visit hospitals for photo ops, being tired, I began to consider poor decisions as viable options and thought, “I can just lay down on the floor, right here, smack dab in the middle of the family room. Nothing unsafe can happen without me hearing it. I just need to rest my eyes.”
Here I must confess that there is also a certain thrill when your own flesh-and-blood, your very seed—as they used to say in Bible times—believes they have free reign to climb around, on, and over you.
As most of you know, this daughter is not the only continuation of my bloodline which I have helped deliver unto the world, which I only mention here to relate that I have experienced this climbing scene before.
So, little “A-” (let’s call her) starts to crawl on top of me until she gets right up onto my chest.
Oh, sorry to interrupt, but you should know that for whatever reason A- has developed a habit of leaning her head forward when she wants a kiss. (Or at least that’s how we interpret and respond to the signal.)
So, as I can tell that her head is near my head, I next feel her head, face really, lower down to my head. This was not, to my thinking, very well aimed, if affection was her goal; her face landed nowhere in particular, it seemed. All I’m trying to describe is that her face was now awkwardly touching mine.
As you’re probably thinking, I thought, “Oh! How sweet!”
Then (my eyes are closed all the while) I feel a slightly uncomfortable, open-infant-palm go: “Smack!” And right on the button, too!
As you know, I’m tough as nails, being a hero pilot and all, so don’t read into this recounting anything more than that it startled me.
And then it hit me! No, not her hand, but what she was doing.
While laying there I remembered that we have on the shelf these old 1950s era children’s encyclopedias and that back in the 50s and before, the physicians used to have a less precise approach to CPR. Taken together (context drives meaning, folks) with the fact that, these days, especially with the pandemic going on for her entire life, everyone knows that first responders are the priestly class, if not gods themselves, and she was communicating to me—the little savant—that she, too, like her maker, wants to be a first responder.
Do you see it? In that face-to-face move, she wasn’t giving me affection. She thought I was dead, or unconscious at the least, and she was at the “look, listen, and feel” step of assessing her patient.
As far as the whack on the nose, it was a forgivable targeting error—she is only 1 after all. She had merely—incorrectly I might add (some performance improvement is upcoming)—assessed that I was in cardiac arrest and had begun old-style compressions.
My daughter! Following in the footsteps of her ol’ man. Can you believe it? It was a beautiful sight to behold, even if there was no professional cameraman nearby.