Baby Doll

My four year old daughter, Greer, resisted a bit when I told her bath time was over. After I’d scrubbed dirt from her that only a four year old could accumulate, she quietly played with her bath toys. For a good twenty minutes she casually poured water from a plastic toy telephone into a pink Barbie car, back and forth, until I urged her again to get out of the tub.

“Come on Baby Doll.” I said, using the nickname I’d given her the day we brought her home from the hospital.

I helped her from the tub and draped her with a towel warm from the dryer. That was something I began doing for her and my son Evan when I noticed their tiny teeth chattered the instant they stepped from the warm bath water. She hugged the warm towel and pulled it over her head as she spoke, mispronouncing her thanks as only a four year old comically could.

I couldn’t see her face but I could tell her lips were quivering.

“Tattoo Daddy.”

“You’re welcome Baby Doll.” I admit I choked back tears in the sweetness of the moment.

That was almost fifteen years ago.

During most of those years I continued to call her “Baby Doll”. I slowed up some when she became a teenager and the dramatic rolling of her eyes indicated she preferred to be called by her real name. At least in front of her friends.

As years passed I’d often recount the bath tub story and how she’d thanked me for the towel. She had no memory of that but thought it funny. “Tattoo Daddy” became her thanks to me again for a few years as our own inside joke. In recent years, however, both “Tattoo Daddy” and “Baby Doll” slowly faded away.

Greer is eighteen now. She drives her own car, the pink Barbie car from the bath tub a relic of the past and recently she called me on her iPhone, which has replaced her long gone plastic toy telephone. She called to talk about paperwork she needed for college admission and during the course of that conversation we also discussed how time has flown by so quickly.

That tiny baby girl we brought home from the hospital is now about to embark on a very big milestone in her life. I used to laugh at other parents when they became emotional about their children going to college. How silly, I thought.

It’s not silly.

We didn’t bring up the bath tub story, but Greer and I reminisced about a lot of things during that one phone call. I was impressed with her maturity, happy she remembered fun childhood moments, and surprised by the emotion in her voice.

Focusing back to the business of college paperwork I told her not to worry. Even though I was in denial that my tiny baby girl was about to set off into the real world, I would certainly get everything back to her as soon as I could. She probably heard the emotion in my voice as I told her I would do anything she needed. There was a momentary pause on the line.

I couldn’t see her face but I could tell her lips were quivering.

“Tattoo Daddy.”

“You’re welcome Baby Doll.” I admit I choked back tears in the sweetness of the moment.

Stuart M. Perkins



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282 responses to “Baby Doll

  1. The Stuffed Pig

    This is so beautiful! Thank you for sharing this story!

  2. Awwnn I love this post. Filled with love

  3. This was lovely! Such a sweet recollection of a father and daughter’s love for each other! It really made my day.

  4. I love this coming from a dad who was truly a part of his child’s life is so admiring #rare and #awesome, sharing as if it happened recent is super special as well, thanks for sharing your memories #tattoodad 😆

  5. …and now there are tears. I don’t even have kids yet, but I do have a Dad that I love in only a way you can love your Daddy. Thank you again for sharing 🙂

  6. And cue me ugly crying at my desk because of how adorable this post is. Cuteness overload! ❤

  7. MissMay

    My daughter is three and I try to hold in every amazingly adorable moment she has so I can share with her down the road. This was beautiful.

  8. Reblogged this on We Were Us and commented:
    I got emotional. Beautifully written…

  9. How sweet! This caught my attention because that’s my daughter’s nickname too. My own Baby Doll is 4 and gets upset at the “Baby” part already, so she’s usually just Doll. August Rose is spunky, independent, and headstrong. Sometimes I look at her and imagine what she’ll be like when she’s grown, and imagine looking back on certain moments just like this.

  10. Thank you for sharing with me. It brought tears to my eyes. This validates my Children’s Book and confirms again the special bond between Father and Daughter.

  11. Beautiful story, it definitely got me all choked up.

  12. roseandjazmine

    I can feeling how big your love for your baby doll

  13. amilinda

    Absolutely beautiful! Thank you for the follow and I’m really happy I checked out your blog..what a lovely piece of literature to brighten one’s day 🙂 Looking forward to the next installment!

  14. Beautiful! Poignant, but beautiful!

  15. I just choked back tears too. Such a great story

  16. Gulp, sniff, I love the way you write!

  17. Those thoughts you remind me of my dad! Thank you for sharing this.

  18. My own daughter – now 13 – is growing up so fast. I just know I’ll be an emotional wreck when she goes to college.

  19. Love it! We do as much as we can while they are still with us to create experiences which they can go back to. Thanks for sharing this wonderful piece of story from your life. 🙂

  20. Hey thanks for following my blog 🙂 Your post is marvelous and so emotional 🙂

  21. Reblogged this on It is Shazinsky…. and commented:
    I feel you mother,
    I will be one too
    Wonder how it’ll feel then.

  22. This brought a tear and a smile on my face, I can’t wait to hold my kids too or watch their daddy(where is he now) play or bath them…Just beautiful I love the flow.

  23. JosPlaceWP

    Precious story! When they do exactly what we taught them, sprout wings, and fly to other places, life is never the same. I miss the “Tank Ew.”

  24. mydeardiary9

    What a sweet piece indeed. Dads are always more close to the daughters and so is my dad with me and my sister. Made me remember how he gets emotional every time he comes to see me off somewhere..Thanks for writing this.
    And thanks for reading my diary too 🙂

  25. Gave me a glance through my parents’ perspective..thank you for sharing this.It is sweet 🙂

  26. Oh my goodness. I adore this post! My little ones are still that — little. And I often get so out-done with all the little frustrations that kids bring. But the little sweet moments.. the little “tattoos”… those are the BEST. Great post! Thank you!

  27. Choked back my tears too. Nah, they’ve already rolled. Thinking of kids and how time fly so fast, I hope I’ll be as open and accepting about the inevitable that they would live their own lives, and I’ll be taking the back seat. Gaah. Cherish the moments. Heartfelt post!

  28. Generally , i read story very rare. But i am very much appreciated by reading your story. this is creating my willingness to read story. thank you very much

  29. How could you choke back I would of been letting loose to precious loved this story

  30. Love how you express yourself in writing. Reading it is almost like watching it in a movie. There’s such honest emotions on both sides. What a great story.

  31. i am very choked to read the story..thank you for share …………….

  32. awesome and great article to read. thank you very much all the best

  33. lovely. very heart warming.

  34. Thank you for this beautiful post (unable to choke back my own tears.) You really touch your readers’ hearts!

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