There’s a Bill Cosby routine about dads teaching their sons football. Working with them for years, practicing the throwing and the catching. Spending hours in the cold to watch them play. The boys grow up and get on their college teams. They make a big catch on a nationally televised show, and with the camera in their face, what do they say to the world?
This is payback, of course. Moms are the ones with the swollen bellies and bulging veins. Three months of vomiting, perhaps a respite, then 4 months of sciatica. Hours of labor, the pain of childbirth. Then months of leaking and sore breasts. Mounds of diapers and hundreds of wiped bottoms. And inevitably, what is a baby’s first word?
Mary has been saying Dada for quite some time. I guess she sort of says Muh for me, but I refuse to accept that as a word. It’s just babble. I mean, Muh? What is Muh?
But she definitely has a second “word” now. She lifts her shirt, tickles her tummy and says, “tikki!”
It’s how I fill my days: tickling babies and laughing when they tickle themselves.