Mi’s father came home after a month ! We’re military nomads so we have no home as of now, so maybe I should say that Mi met her father after a month. I was dying of curiosity to see her reaction because last time she sized him up like a stranger. If it wasn’t difficult enough to be married in the military and having your husband deployed ever since the wedding (barring a couple of months), now we have a baby and she meets her dad once in 2 months on an average and that is neither fair nor healthy. I have heard other military moms tell me how their babies would be uncomfortable around the father and call him ‘uncle’ when he would come back home. That’s not a great way for a baby to learn the importance of a father or the role of a father is his/her life.

Military Wife: “Sweetheart, dad’s home !”

Military Brat: “Goodmorning, Dad Uncle ! How are you?”

So you can imagine how distraught I was when Karan came to visit us for half a day. I couldn’t even tell myself that she would get used to him in a day or two and then everything would be fine (we didn’t even have 18 hours together). And then the day of his arrival came nearer and I told myself that it was more of an opportunity for Karan than Mi. Mi has had a growth spurt last month and she has started doing a lot of things – a lot of entertaining and endearing things. She has achieved a couple of milestones and I did not want her father to miss these milestones and moments like most military dads do.

Read more: A collection of Father Quotes

Finally the moment arrived when I would tell Misha ‘ Dad’s home ‘ ! I was looking for a reaction – a blank stare, ‘who’s this stranger?’ kind of reaction.

But to my surprise, as soon as he entered the door and said “Hi”, she recognised his voice. He dropped his bag in the middle of the room blocking everyone’s way and came forward to smile at Misha. She was sitting on her booster chair having lunch but that did not stop her from smiling so wide that she dropped all the porridge on her bib (and her fresh change of clothes, phew!).

She recognised him ! That was a look of recognition !! I was so elated.

I had made sure that the baby connected with the dad to be when I was pregnant and vice versa. For whatever time we were together during my pregnancy, her dad made it a habit of taking to Mi through the belly and listening to the baby movements (yes, you can). And they had connected very well ! So much so, that everytime Karan would come back home from office or from games, Misha would kick as soon as she heard his voice. She would only calm down when he would touch the belly and speak to her.

When we went to Leh to visit him after 2 months, she was a little confused. I don’t think she remembered him very well. We were together for 20 days and she really bonded with him, went to attend a social gathering with him when I was a little under the weather and didn’t ask for me till she was rubbing her eyes. But I guess, now she is growing up and remembers better. She instantly recognised and father and that has really put all my fears to rest. Really. And the period during my pregnancy when we fought to stay together has finally paid off !!

Now, the only task is to make sure that they meet as often as possible. We wouldn’t want Mi to start calling her father, ‘Uncle’ now, would we !?

Recommended Reads:

A husband’s answer about fathers in the delivery room

Why my husband is the perfect man to raise boys

Home Alone with a Baby – Struggles of the first day

A little silence before the storm