Of Emmett's expanding vocabulary, his current three favorite words are: "Hi!", "Daddy" (which is somewhat universal for both Mommy and Daddy - it's basically his way of saying, "Hey, you're an adult I know and love!"), and "Baby." Of the three, while hearing him proclaim, "Daddy!" at the end of every work day when Philip walks through the garage door is pretty special, I find the most precious to be his newfound love for "babies" - which are any and all stuffed animals and dolls (of which there are many in this home).
When we find him in his crib snuggling his Build-a-Bear, basketball-playing, monkey, he'll hold it out and say, "Babeee!" (he always draws out the last syllable - it's absolutely adorable).
When he found in the kitchen the tiny McDonald's toy of a little girl dressed as the Big Bad Wolf (dressed as Grandma - it's a very confusing toy), he pointed to it excitedly and said, "Babeee!"
And when he was cruising around the living room on their push and ride truck, he stopped to retrieve from the floor his sister's handmade rag doll from Grandma Veta and declared, "Babeee!" while he hugged her, held her out to see her again, and hugged her once more.
Tonight, after we cleaned the kids' rooms for Grandma and Grandpa's impending arrival, he was coveting his sister's Glo-Worm which she was carrying everywhere, so I asked Daddy to retrieve my old bald-headed Cabbage Patch doll (it was a "Baby" Cabbage Patch Doll - it was meant to be bald - I'm not that destructive!) from Micaiah's bed - she was not giving that baby the correct amount of loving and, besides, it was wearing one of Emmett's own newborn onesies - it was like the pair were meant to be.
And sure enough, he was so happy to have his very own baby. He pulled his baby up with him to sit on the futon and patted the space next to him where Momma sits for story time. Thus, he hugged his baby all during their bedtime story and carried it off to bed with him when it was time.
Clearly he's learning to be such a great Daddy from the wonderful example provided for him in our family.
I'm just hoping this loving tenderness for babies holds for a couple more months, so he can greet his real life Baby brother or sister with the same amount of affection he shares with Sissie's dolls. Fingers crossed!