2. The look of disappointment on baby’s face when she peeks through the crib bars and realizes it’s Dad’s morning, not Mom’s, which Dad’s actually good with because it’s a step up from the full-grade meltdowns of months past.
3. The Mickey Mouse Clubhouse episode that’s airing while baby drinks her bottle is either the one where Martian Mickey comes to Earth and promptly loses all his space pets and needs normal Mickey and the gang to round them up, or the one where that bastard Goofy is calling for Baby Red Bird the whole time. (It doesn’t really matter which of the million episodes you get stuck with, it’s what kind of mood you’re in, and if your baby wakes up early and only wants her mom and Mickey calls for his Mouse-Ka-Tools one too many times, you feel like going inside that TV and giving that mouse the beating of his life.)
4. Dad dresses baby for the day in one of those onesies with a million snaps and pants that are super tight around her ankles, and she of course dirties her diaper the moment everything’s on just right and pretends it’s just a coincidence.
5. In her high chair, baby holds out her arm and drops a piece of waffle or a blueberry on the floor, on purpose, while looking Dad straight in the eye. Dad pretends he’s a strict parent with stern eyes, but she wins the stone-face-killer stare-down every time, which is sort of impressive. She’s figuring out the game of life by testing the limits, and though he’s tired, has butt paste on his hand, and that goddamn Hot Dog Song is on repeat in the background, Dad, still pretending to be mad, couldn’t be happier.