Mitch here!

I know what you’re thinking.

Two Mitch Posts in a row? Does he have Kelly locked up in the basement? Does he have a life? What the heck is going on with this blog?!

Calm down. You’re making a scene. Here’s the situation. Kelly’s swamped with a huge project–we can’t wait to share it with you!— and we’re flying to Portland tomorrow morning. And I was just sitting here watching tennis on TV. Long story short: I’m on blog duty.

To make this even more awkward, though, I’m teaming up with Emily of Isn’t That Charming for this week’s entry in the Motherhood Series. Here is a sentence I never thought I’d write: This isn’t my first motherhood post and I bet it won’t be my last.

Side note: Sorry for not telling you about this, Em. But I know you know how it is.

Okay! Let’s get to it:

Emma makes me laugh harder than anyone I know. And I’m not talking about the “look at my kid she’s doing stuff” kind of funny. She’s actually hilarious, and now that she’s a one-year-old, I think she knows it. She pulls pranks on us and then she whips her head around to see how hard we’re laughing. She messes with Noodle and cracks up when Noodle rolls away. And, tragically, she pinches other babies and laughs at their reactions. (Really sorry, Darby and Jason.)

In today’s motherhood post, I want to talk about a few times that Emma has made me laugh (or smile) the hardest. I’m now realizing that this is a total “look at my kid she is doing stuff” kind of post… but whatever. I’m a proud dad! We do this kind of stuff.

The basketball incident

I’ve heard it said that you know who your kids will be from a very young age. I just never expected my daughter to announce herself at four months old. I guess I should have expected it from the daughter of a fashion blogger. Emma turns everything into a necklace. Even though she can barely walk, she tries to put Kelly’s fancy shoes on. One of her current favorite toys is Kelly’s lipstick. She just figured out how to get the lid off.

When Emma was three months old, I bought a basketball at the grocery store in a fit of impulse buying delirium. I don’t know if it was some kind of postpartum nesting instinct or something, but basketball was a big part of my childhood so I checked an invisible item off my to-do list and bought this thing so I wouldn’t have to do it in the future. Also, why were they selling basketballs at the grocery store? Regardless, I couldn’t wait to show it to Emma.

“Emma! Look! It’s a basketball! You and I are going to have so much fun with this thing some day!”

I’ll never forget the look of terror on her face. This kid hated every single inch of that basketball. She screamed, cried, flinched and tried to get as far away from it as possible. And she has ever since.

Oh well.

The puke incident

Emma is not a cuddler. All of those cute Instagram photos you see of dads and daughters snuggled up on the couch, napping after a few hours of Sunday afternoon lounging? Not in this house. Emma fights it off with the strength of an olympic wrestler. She leverages her little frame to exert maximum force. She fights dirty. She’ll smack you right in the face if you try to cuddle her.

But there are these brief moments when, if by accidental foot placement or something interesting happens behind my back, Emma will almost hug me. Kelly and I call these “the best parts of our days” as in, “Kelly look! Best part of my day! Ow! She punched me in the face!” or ” Mitch, Emma totally gave me the best part of my day earlier but it turned out there was just a squirrel in a tree behind me and she was trying to point at it.”

On this particular day, though, the Larkin Family took a trip to the Shedd Aquarium. We had the best time! But after a serious day of sightseeing, this dad wanted to lay on the couch and relax with his daughter. And she was totally into it! She put her head on my shoulder and nuzzled in. I was having the best “best part of my day” EVER.

I knew in an instant how wrong I was. Obviously, puke is a major part of fatherhood. I typically wear a puke stain as a badge of honor as if to say “I made it out of the house today despite having an infant in tow.” But this little girl puked so much, so violently all over my dapper-looking sweater/oxford combo, that I actually put myself to bed. Even worse, Kelly made us sit like this for a solid minute while she took the picture.

Hug courtesy of this blog post.

The hugging incidents

Emma may not be a cuddler, but she sure does love watching people hug. Watching people hug is this girls’ version of heaven. No matter what time of day or what the circumstances may be, if Kelly and I hug, Emma squirms with delight, smiles from ear to ear and claps her hands.

Every. Single. Time.

From my perspective, this is a subtle message: “Dad. I may be worse at basketball than the current Chicago Bulls, and I may have ruined your incredibly dapper-looking sweater/oxford combo that day back in January, but if you and mom will just hug it out a few times a day, we’ll all be just fine.”

So I’ve got that going for me. Which is nice.

Mitch. Out!