Everything begins somewhere.
Being a father begins the day your child is born. Suddenly you aren’t just you, you are someone’s Dad. It is wonderful and terrifying all at the same time. Shortly after my daughter was born, I remained terrified. At all times I was worried that I was moving her too fast, rocking her too hard, singing too loud, starting at her too much. When she cried I took it as a sign of my personal failure to properly provide for her, and when your baby is a beautiful blue eyed angel, that failure is devastating. How dare you not provide perfection for this tiny wonderful creature?
One day (still terrified), as I wheeled my daughter around the grocery store with her securely in her car seat (the kind that detaches and becomes a bassenet) I arrived in the baby food isle. There on the shelves were baby wipes, but they didn’t have our kind. Our baby was perfectly healthy except that for whatever reason she got terrible diaper rashes if she didn’t get the all natural sensative baby wipes. They didn’t have any and we were practically out. I panicked. I read the other packages to see if they were just as good. No dice. I checked on the end-caps. Negative. I returned to the diaper wipe section. I’m a man. A man doesn’t ask store clerks if there are more in the back. A man figures it out for himself, if necessary rushing the back stocking area and forraging through the boxes as necessary. My hand drifted to my pocket. The ultimate admission of failure: calling my wife to ask her what to do. As my hand touched my phone I had a thought. They keep their extra stuff high on the top of the shelves. I looked up. There sat a plain brown cardboard box. On the side, plain black stenciled lettering: Huggies Sensative Wipes.
Time to stick it to the man.
I’m tall (and handsome 🙂 and my arms reach pretty far. I moved the cart back so that she would not be in the path of any boxes should they fall. I reached up, rose to my tiptoes, and nudged the box enough to set it teetering. As is fell, I caught it. I sat it down on the floor and ripped open the top. There were the exact wipes she needed. I pulled out two! (They were on sale.)
I sat our wipes in the cart and looked down at my beautiful daughter who returned my gaze.
“No one defeats your Daddy,” I told her.
And, Undefeated Daddy was born.