Big Daddy and I met in 1995 and started dating in March of 1996. We picked out names for our kids that summer and then became in engaged that fall. Of course, we didn't actually name our kids the names that we had picked out, but we knew that we wanted kids...two of them...a boy and a girl to be exact.From the beginning of our relationship there were always kids involved. All of the kids in my preschool class knew Big Daddy. He would come to the preschool to meet me after work on Fridays and he often came early. He knew all of the kids in my class by name. And then there was also my nephew who loved Big Daddy from the start.
After we were married and I started teaching again, there were new kids. We had one of the kids in my class, Christopher and his little sister Alex every once in a while. We took them places when we were off work, kept them so that their parents could have a night out and just practiced parenting on them.
When Callie was born in 2001, we had a baby to play with. Big Daddy is crazy about babies and he was nuts over Baby Callie. Unfortunately, she didn't like him very much...at first. When Callie was about 8 months old, she fell in love with Big Daddy. All it took was sharing yogurt and ice cream, reading lots of books, making animal noises and a whole week in the same beach house with him!
Fast forward to 2005 and of course, we found out that we were going to have a baby of our own. Our pregnancy came rather unexpectedly after nearly a year of (not really) trying. Big Daddy was in total shock and very stressed. He had been looking at jobs out of state and it suddenly became very important to be in the same state as my family. On August 29, he fell in love. That was the day of our first ultrasound! We found out that our pregnancy was viable (the doctor wasn't so sure because of other issues at my appointment on August 15) and we saw Baby Maggie and heard her heartbeat for the first time.
Big Daddy wasn't all that involved in my pregnancy, but he was so excited about meeting our baby. I remember the excitement in his voice when he asked Peg if he could "catch" the baby himself. She looked at his hands and told him he could try! Of course, things didn't go as planned and Big Daddy wasn't even allowed in the room when Maggie was born by crash c-section. He was able to hold her very soon after she was born. He was the first one to call her by her name which was the name that he picked out. He was the first person to rock her. He was the first person to change her poopy diaper. (He'll never let me forget that I wasn't able to do that!) After we were home he was the first to give her a bottle and the first person to walk her and bounce her to sleep. (I'll never let him forget this because we then had to walk and bounce her for the next 10+ months!!) He was also the first person that gave her all of the things that babies aren't supposed to have...like Dr. Pepper.
When we found out that we were expecting Baby Ellie, he was pleasantly surprised. We had picked out the time that would work best for a due date and we timed it all just right. Big Daddy went to a few more of my midwife appointments with me and he once again asked Peg if he could catch the baby. He didn't get to exactly catch Ellie, but he was able to see her (giant) head first (WAY before she was out) and he was able to cut the umbilical cord this time. It was a dream come true for both of us to be completely present for the birth! He was right there the ENTIRE time that I was in labor on day 1 and day 2 and I could not have pushed Ellie out without his support.
So...some may call him by his real name, or by "Uncle _____" or da-da or Daddy, but I just call him Big Daddy.