Chapter 19: Sweet Child o’ Mine

Byrd’s growing up fast, as I’ve heard all kids do. It seems like just yesterday I was having to lift her up to blow out the candles on her birthday cake, and now she can reach the top of the counter all by herself.

Those candles you snuffed out represent your hopes and dreams

As much as I’ve complained about the hardships of raising an infant, and later a toddler, I’m starting to wish Byrd would pump the brakes a bit. It’s fascinating to watch her grow up, of course, but every year that passes, and every stage she outgrows, is a time we’ll never have again. The more she becomes an actual person, the more I can’t help but feel I’ve lost something. I mean, sure, I’ve gained things, too, like more sleep and more time not spent dealing with soiled diapers, but I think you know what I mean.

Recent circumstances, however, have made me a believer that all this growing up Byrd’s been doing is for the best. Worse things could happen than Byrd becoming fully capable of pouring her own cereal in the morning, or taking a bath without Nalani or me helping. She’s off at school several hours a day. She is, to put it bluntly, quite a bit less of a burden than she has been prior to now. I don’t have any regrets about the amount of time we’ve put into raising our girl, but there’s one very good reason that, soon, not having to devote as much time and effort toward Byrd care and maintenance might be a good thing.


In case it wasn’t obvious from the celebratory look on Nalani’s face and the slight twitch in her left eye, we’re expecting our second child. Well, we’re expecting it now, anyway. We weren’t yesterday. This is a completely unplanned occurrence1. We’ve been actively avoiding introducing a new baby to the family so soon after Byrd. I’m still building out major sections of the house, and Byrd’s already a handful, if somewhat less of a handful than she had been previously. A lot of Nalani’s time is spent away, working at the restaurant. I have the option of working from home, but that does mean I need to be able to get work done from here, which isn’t easy when you’ve got two kids to take care of at the same time as a video conference.

I know we’ll manage, one way or another, but I’m still terrified.

I just realized I haven’t posted any pictures of Byrd recently. She’s looking quite a bit different than last time you saw her.

My Girl

I’m really proud of her. She’s got a pretty impressive athletic streak, and I’m not sure where she got those genes from. Her father is perfectly content parked at a computer all day, and her mother may be able to break swim speed records, but on land she’s not exactly an Olympic-level athlete. Byrd, however, is constantly running somewhere or jumping over something. Also, in case you’re curious, Byrd is, as far as I can tell, completely human. No gills, no fish tail, and no scales. I think she may have a small crush on Jason Momoa, but who doesn’t?

She’s no dumb jock, though. She is super smart, which is a frightening thing to realize when you’re a parent. The last thing I need is a kid with the mental ability to pull one over on me. I’m going to have to keep a close eye on her as she gets older, and try to always remember that she is too intelligent to be trusted. I’m also really going to need to stay on the ball, because if she ever figures out she’s smarter than I am, which she may very well be, it’s game over for the ol’ Daddison.

As if all those positive attributes weren’t enough, just look at her. That kid’s got style. You can debate whether her love-child-of-Jackie-O-and-Betty-Crocker look is a good one, but for a kid her age to pull off 50’s retro is, if you ask me, pretty dammed impressive.

No more Stephen King before bed, young lady!

But perhaps her most endearing quality of all, at least to dear old dad, is that my Byrd is a 100% certified Grade A nerd. She loves a lot of the same stuff I do, and is even hooking me up with more recent forms of geekdom I wasn’t even aware of as an out-of-touch old geezer — like, who knew there was so much anime out there? I think she’s seen all of it, and when she finds a really good one, she lets me know. She’s like my own personal anime shopper.

We also watch old and new sci-fi together (her favorite captain is Janeway, incidentally, which may be an unusual choice, but at least it’s not Archer), we group up in MMOs (she tanks, I DPS), and we both quote Monty Python often enough to each other that Nalani no longer just shakes her head in disapproval, but sometimes loses her composure completely and the internal screaming becomes external screaming. I’m sure we’re both huge nerdy disappointments to her, but I’m enjoying the hell out of it.

1 Gameplay Note: MC Command Center is installed, and configured with a very low chance (1%) of pregnancy on any Woohoo. This pregnancy really was unexpected.

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