When my first son was born, I was terrified.
When my second son was born, I was amazed.
When my third son was born, I was amused. Oh, look, another one. How quaint.
When my daughter was born, I was ecstatic. Thank God! We finally got a girl.
In the ensuing years of parenting, I discovered that the boys took to me pretty much on sight. Something in their little self-wiring knew that they were supposed to identify with Dad, and since Dad was present, identify they did. Furthermore, they had to identify with me since there was always another baby filling Mom's lap. This "connecting with Dad" thing really surprised me, as I was sure I was going to be a failure at raising and leading boys. Quite the contrary. They trust that I know what I'm doing and model themselves wholeheartedly after my ways. Suckers.
The girl bucked the entire system, spending her first two and a half years looking at me as a cross between furniture and cat yaack. Even in a pinch, Daddy usually wasn't good enough. It annoyed me to no end, since I've changed hundreds of diapers, read hundreds of stories, and gotten plenty of children ready for bed.
Over the past three months, Avery has finally started to acknowledge me as more than a distant relation whom she may have seen on one or two occasions. Today she came running into the kitchen when she heard me come home and sort of huggled on my legs for a while before Toby blasted her out of the way. She likes flying up to the ceiling on Daddy-power and sits at my end of the dinner table without complaint. And she smiles.
Thank God, we are making progress.