I Can Share
By Amberfly

 

 

The sun is just about to dip, the cicadas are courting, and it’s a perfect summer’s evening. I’m drinking a cold beer with George Hammond, while Daniel is cross-legged on the floor, playing with his bits of Lego. Actually, it’s Duplo, but it still hurts like a sonavubitch when its digs into your foot.

Yesterday, we had visitors. Carter and Teal’c bought Daniel the entire zoo theme of Duplo, and surrounded by lions and tigers, he’s a happy camper. It wasn’t all plain sailing by a long shot, but that was yesterday, and today it’s all forgotten. Kids have that wonderful way of living for the moment.

The technicolor box was probably bigger than the kid, and took me twenty agonizing minutes to prize it open. It would have taken me less time, but Carter refused to let me use C4. Teal’c decided it was beneath him to fuss, explaining the vagrancies of the Taur’i toy makers while he sat sipping tea. Very refined.

Vagrancies or not, Danny was impressed with the size of the box. If those blue eyes opened any wider, or mouth drop any farther, he wouldn’t have been able to breathe. He was itching to create a masterpiece, but manners come first, and he had guests to thank and then to entertain. Sam looked at me, the disappointment clear on her face; she wanted the games to begin.

Carter and I have had had this discussion about spoiling Daniel many - many times.

“Nobody likes a spoilt child, Carter,” I tell her. “Daniel can have gifts on the holidays and on his birthday.”

“Yes, birthdays, Christmas, Sundays, Mondays, and Tuesdays!”

However, as any parent will tell you, once the child sees the gift, it’s very difficult to pretend it’s only a figment of his imagination. I had hoped to surreptitiously sneak the box into the garage, but being bigger than my garage, I decided against it. Besides, he’d worked out the moment I opened the door the gift was for him.

Daniel has a bat like radar when it comes to toys.
 
Sam silently willed me to agree to let him have the toy, and being smart enough to know who would end up being the big bad wolf, I nodded.  Teal’c also nodded his head wisely. We all nodded!

First problem hadn’t taken long to surface. The zoo box needed brute strength to pries open, and Danny-boy just didn’t have enough. He had however, the genetic impatience of every male faced with adversity. Scowling, he wasn’t afraid to let us know he wasn’t impressed.

Being the kind of daddy which happily stays up until four in the morning putting together a bike, I volunteered my well honed… daddy brain.
  
Daniel quickly became frustrated, and bouncing to his feet, demanded I move my ass. I'm an older dad, and with age, comes the,’ don’t sweat the small stuff.’ but I demand good manners. Daniel forgot his ‘talking to daddy, manners.’

We politely, or at least, I politely, excused ourselves, and hand in hand, Daniel and I left the room. We had a quick chat about manners, and why we use our inside voices. He’s a great kid, and promised that he wouldn’t yell anymore. Hugging my neck tightly, he swore that he‘d never, not even if he’s been eaten by a crocodile, yell at daddy again.

My role in this declaration of childhood angst was simple. I agree not put him in time out, and open the damn box. I am paraphrasing, but you get the drift.

It all got worse before it got better. Everyone decided to help me. Every time I turned around, a shaggy blond head blocked my view, or another prettier, blond head, offered me advice. The bald one was spectacularly useless, but I wisely refrained from telling him that. Teal’c could have hurt my…pride.

Finally, I managed to get the box open, and the look on Danny’s face was priceless. MasterCard moment 101.  He leapt around the room kissing and hugging with that pure, little boy, enthusiasm for life. God, I love this kid.

Sam couldn’t take the smile off her face, and shrugging her shoulders at me, knelt and picked up a tiger. Making weird growling sounds, Daniel and she exploded into giggles while collapsing onto the floor and it was a joy to watch. Carter is very playful with Daniel, the tense Samantha Carter is another person around this kid.

Teal’c hunkered down while Danny leapt onto his back, and cantered around the room like a centaur. There was so much love and happiness in my house that day, I was moved to tears.

I was the last to receive any hugs and kisses, but that’s okay, I knew why. I was the one who made him apologize for the foot stamping earlier. Still, I know my place, and Sam and Teal’c aren’t lucky like me.

I get to see this brilliant smile every morning; I get the warm hugs and the kisses whenever they are on offer. I’m the lucky one who gets to cuddle under the afghan, and read all about Peter Pan and Tinkerbelle.

I’m the one he calls daddy.

Looking at George, and clinking our bottles gently, I know that I can share.

The End

 

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