My son wants attention. Just not from me. And it’s starting to hurt a little.

Almost every morning for the past year or more, my son has awoken from sleep and called for his mother. “Mommy!” He will shout this word for as long as it takes to get a response.

And almost every morning for the past year or more, I have been the one to pluck him from his crib, change his diaper, and bring him to his mother.

At some point, you’d think he would stop calling for Mommy and switch to Daddy, since it’s Daddy who responds to his call almost every single time.

But no. It’s always been Mommy. This morning it was Mommy.

Never Daddy. Not even once.

I know he doesn’t mean to hurt my heart, but I’m starting to wonder.


Did you know that Daddy doesn't sleep. My daughter has proof.

My daughter woke up at 5:45 this morning. Sirens from nearby fire engines and police cars woke her up. After checking in on her mother and finding her asleep and fairly nonresponsive, she came downstairs.

“Dad, I just can’t sleep.”

“I know,” I said. “But it’s okay. It’s morning. You’re allowed to be awake. It’s early, but it’s still morning.”

“But Mommy’s still asleep,” she said.

“I know,” I said. “It’s still really early.”

She paused for a moment beside a window, and then she turned to me. She had a smile on her face. “Listen, Daddy! The birds are awake! They went to sleep, and now they’re awake.”

“Yup,” I said. “The birds are awake, and I’m awake, and you’re awake.”

She looked out the window again, and then she turned toward me again, hazing hard. She furrowed her brow. She tilted her head slightly. She looked utterly puzzled. “Daddy,” she said. “How come you don’t have to sleep?”


Then it occurred to me:

Except for bouts with pneumonia and the stomach bug, my daughter has never, ever seen me asleep. For the first five years of my life, I have always been awake, out of bed, and fully dressed before she ever opened her eyes.

My daughter doesn’t think that I sleep.

She thinks that her Daddy is a superhero.

I fear that I have set the expectations on her future husband exceptionally high.