A Daddy’s Love

Leon’s been learning so much. He can now read most numbers 1-10, and he knows all basic body parts and animal sounds. His pronunciation of words is getting better (who knew that “effant” is such an efficient way of saying “elephant”). He can do 9-piece puzzles with ease. He can jump with both feet. He can correctly volunteer the names of some colors but when asked he still says that every color is “yellow.” He tidies his books several times a day when asked, and wipes down his high chair every night after dinner. He grabs a kitchen towel and cleans the front of the cupboards as soon as we sing the clean-up song.

I asked Minh what things Leon can do that I could write about, and he said, “Whine and tantrums. And eat all our food. Drain our bank account. Also he’s gotten really good at being a jerk, especially when he purposely gives no hugs. Like, dude I just cooked you the best meal you’ve ever had in your life. I was the one that introduced you to spaghetti. Your mom would have fed you rabbit food.”

None of which is false. Every evening when Leon and I get home, Minh cheerfully greets us at the door and asks Leon for a hug. And every evening, Leon whines “nooooo” and runs to give me a hug instead. And every evening, I see Minh’s heart break a little.

Minh can talk some talk, but when Leon woke up screaming the night before last, Minh bounced into his room to comfort him before I even rolled over to check the baby monitor. He comforted and rocked Leon until they both fell asleep on his big teddy bear.

And Minh regularly makes $20 pot roasts just for Leon’s lunches, in addition to cooking gourmet-style meals for us every night. And he takes Leon for walks and works with him on numbers and flips him around and dances with him. Minh worked with Leon on walking, climbing stairs, reading numbers, learning colors, cleaning his toys, etc. Minh even made me smoothies every morning while I was pregnant to ensure Leon would get as many nutrients as possible.

So Minh’s day will come eventually. In the meantime we’ll just deal with little strong-willed Leon.

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