Before my daughter was born, we broke the rules in our quiet little way. We are aggressive lovers. Playful, I would call it. We bite each other sometimes, hug fiercely at others, and tumble on the floor or wherever we happen to be. We liked it that way. We found freedom in it. And a passion that made our lives feel full and brought our daughter into the world.
Now two-years-old, she is asleep. My wife Emmy comes downstairs and we hug for a bit, kiss. I make a joke and she laughs. We start to undress, flipping clothes onto the floor in piles. The living room has become our rendezvous point.
We come together fiercely, wanting a moment. To be. From up the stairs I hear something, a quiet shuffling.
“Baby,” I say with a smile.
We start to get dressed. It's like this now.
Markie is downstairs first.
“Hi Dada! Watcha doin'?” Her tone is light, slips into the hollow of the kitchen and curls around, disappearing.
“Checking my email, did you have a good nap?”
“Yeh, Anga Ballerina has a pink tutu and I have a pink tutu and sometimes a blue tutu and she's a mouse.” She laughs and smiles, words chasing one another out of her mouth. Her arms move and she dances, little fingers curl around the edge of the desk. Naps are awesome.
“Oh, I see. Where is Angelina Ballerina these days?”
She looks around, runs down the hall. Little bare feet solid against the concrete.
Emmy is on the stairs, she smiles at me. I move towards her.
“Hey.” We kiss, trying to salvage a deeper sense of us. Comforting each other, letting one know that the other is there to…
“Dada, can you move?”
I kiss Emmy again, press my hands firmly against her ribs. I’m determined not to be ordered around by a two-year-old. Markie is also determined. “Dada, can you move please?”
This is not a question, there is no brief pause before the please and her tone shifts upward slightly. There is a musical quality to it, a warning. As a butterfly unfolds its wings, somewhere the first turn of the hurricane settles in against the waves.
“I don’t want to move.” Opening the bid, smiling at her.
She senses that action is needed and wiggles in between us, looking up at Emmy.
The baby wins every time.