Daddy's Little Girl This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


   The first time I held her in my arms, I wasn't scared of dropping her because I hadheld a lot of babies, and never dropped one. I was more scared that someone'slife now relied on me. She relies on me to take care of her so she won't behungry, and hold her when she feels alone or gets scared. Those were just some ofthe things that ran though my mind, but after a while I realized there wasnothing to be scared of. I knew I could do this because I had it in me. At 17,maybe I was too young to have a baby, but I wasn't too young to be a goodfather.

I've been trying to be the best father I can be. I always run toher when she starts crying since it's so rare that she cries. Even when she wasborn, she didn't cry. The doctors had to make her cry. She does cry when she'shungry, but it's hardly a cry, instead she starts making little gruntnoises.

When Emily was born it was the happiest day of my life. It's greatto see your own little creation growing up. When she was born, I could put her onmy forearm and carry her around all night; now when I hold her for just 20minutes with both arms it feels like I've been lifting weights.

After shewas born, I had to adjust my sleeping habits. Before I could sleep all night andnot worry about anything, but now I have to get up and make her a bottle, orshe'll make her little grunt noises. But she's a great little baby, she doesn'tgive us any trouble really; she just plays and usually smiles or laughs likecrazy.

Now she's getting into the habit of grabbing everything andsticking it in her mouth. So when we put her on the floor we have to put stuffaround her to make little borders so she can't crawl to the kitchen and startgrabbing things people drop on the floor. Now that she can crawl, she gets intoeverything. One time I put a sour candy in her reach to see if she would grab itand put in her mouth. She did, of course. She ended up liking it, so I triedgiving her hot Cheetos, and she liked them, too.

At ten months, she hasfour teeth on top and two on the bottom, and they are like little razors justwaiting to chomp down. One time I was putting my finger in her mouth and lettingher bite it. My nephew wanted to try too, so he put his finger in her mouth andsure enough, she sank her teeth into him as if she was eating a hot Cheeto. Mynephew, who was in pain, didn't even want to move because she would just biteharder, so I had to put my finger in her mouth to get her to let him go. When shedid, my nephew went

running to his mom crying. I know he won't do thatagain.

In the future, when she's as old as I am right now, I hope shestill bites, especially those guys who can't keep their hands to themselves.Right now time is going so fast it seems as if just yesterday I was taking careof her all night. Now I only get up once to make her bottle. Pretty soon, if shekeeps learning so fast, I'm going to have her fix her own bottles.

Foras many years as she lives with her mom and me, I will protect her and take careof her. I just hope I don't start growing white hairs before I'm 20. I feel likeI am sometimes, that's why I always cut my hair, so nobody will see. No matterhow many white hairs I grow, though, she'll always be daddy's little girl.




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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