I usually don’t get to watch an entire TV show from start to finish these days, but I do get to catch bits and pieces here and there (usually online). This morning I saw a clip of an interview with Kristen Bell on Ellen, the first since she’d given birth to her first baby a few months back, and in it, she spoke about how her partner, Dax Shepard, had taken to fatherhood. Her verdict? “It’s like he’s made a new best friend.”
When I heard that, I knew that it was exactly the perfect way to describe what I had been feeling about the relationship between Matt and Madeleine since she’s come home. It’s like he’s made a new best friend.
I had a feeling, well before I ever got pregnant, that Matt would be an incredible father. I figured that all of the traits that make him a good husband – and a good human being in general – would easily transfer over when he became a dad. He has a truly kind heart. He is incredibly empathic, very patient and understanding. He is reliable, loyal and trustworthy. He is hilarious. And he also just really happens to like children, which I assume is always a plus. But, even still, even though I knew all of these things about him in advance, I did worry a little bit. How are you really supposed to know how someone is going to react to such a big, permanent life change? What if he didn’t take to parenthood as well as I wanted him to?
Turns out I needn’t have worried – Matt is a natural, involved parent, and I learn from his example on a daily basis. But although I did have a suspicion that this would be the case, I did not expect just how strong his bond with Madeleine would become.
He loves Reid to pieces of course (though there is pretty much nothing not to love about Reid!). He takes care of Reid so well, and will be such a wonderful role model for him as he grows. But seeing him with Madeleine is something else. He knows all her little quirks, such as the specific way she needs to be burped so she doesn’t puke, or how she likes to be put down for bed. He loves choosing her outfits, loves getting her to smile (and NO ONE can make Maddie smile like Matt can), loves giving her cuddles and kisses. He gives her endearing nicknames. They have inside jokes. He pretty much completely adores her, and the feeling is certainly mutual.
As Maddie’s mother, it excites me to no end to think about what a gift this relationship will be in her life as she grows. I hope, of course, that she always feels bonded to me as well, that she knows I love her unconditionally and believe in her and think she is absolute full-on perfection. But I feel incredibly blessed to know that her dad thinks the world of her, that her favourite person on the planet thinks she is his favourite too.
His new best friend.