Fatherhood is...

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Fatherhood is being blown away by the little things.

This is an Excitement Feedback Loop (EFL). Here’s how it works. I cover my eyes, reveal them, and blow a puff of air in Charlotte’s face. She responds with a gleeful note of excitement, which, in turn, encourages me to do it again. The process is repeated until one or both of us pass out.

EFL’s are not exclusive to this type of interaction, though. For Charlotte and me, an EFL may be the result of any number of games like Upside-down Baby, Thigh Raspberries, or—my personal favorite—X-treme PeekaBOOM! (more on that later).

It should go without saying that any EFL should be entered into with considerable caution. Side effects include pronounced and debilitating lethargy post-loop; excessive salivation  (mostly the baby’s); and the invitation for strangers to stare at you. The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychaiatry recommend that you not engage in any intensive EFL at Wal-Mart. (Or, what the hell, do! You’re definitely not going to be the weirdest person there.)

Unfortunately, EFL’s—like the one demonstrated in the video above—are only effective within a limited window. And the stakes will increase accordingly as the child develops a tolerance for this type of shtick. Don’t be surprised if instead of a puff of air in the face, it will take a trip to Disney World to elicit a similar response when she’s 7. 

It’s why I play this little game with Charlotte (and Greyson) several times a day. The EFL of a six-month-old doesn’t cost a thing. It’s completely priceless.

(See you at Disney World in 2019.)