Any day now, she'll say her first words.

My wife and I have been playfully betting on what she'll say first - "Mama" or "Daddy." I can hear my wife crooning over and over while she feeds her "Mama's little girl! Mama loves you so much!" Sometimes, she's not even subtle about it - "Say 'mama!' Come on! 'Mama!'”

I don't mind it though. I still believe I'll win. When we first brought her home, she would scream and cry and nothing my wife would say could calm her down, but I knew just how to hold her to help her fall asleep. Our daughter was a daddy's girl - my wife needed all the handicaps she could get.

I sit our daughter in her chair and my wife and I begin babbling like chickens - "Mama!"


"Say Mama!"

"Who's daddy's baby?"

I pull the gag from our little girl's mouth.

"P-please… what do you want from me? Please let me go…"

My wife's smile falls from her face. With a heavy heart, I put the gag back in as the girl starts to scream. I take her back to the room, locking her in and shutting the lights out. When I return, I find my wife crying.

"It's okay, honey," I tell her, "the next one will be better. I promise."

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