Somehow, despite the pregnancy, labour, birth (god, THE BIRTH), the breastfeeding and general mind-turning-to-mush-ness, the first parent's name your baby can say is always 'Daddy'.
Never mind the fact that as soon as they learn to say 'Mummy' it'll be THE go-to word and you'll eventually be so used to hearing it you'll accidentally learn to tune it out - especially on long car journeys - it's still a bit of a sting.
I mean, do we need to mention it again; THE BIRTH?!?!
All that said, let's not underestimate the wonder of Dad.
I realise that I'm being gender exclusive and that there are families that might have no dad, or two dads, or another mum instead of a dad, so i do hope those people will forgive me, but I'm drawing from my own experience here.
Dad is the guy that has to observe the pregnancy rather than experience it. You can joke all you want about women being the stronger sex but I am pretty confident that there is at least one oocasion in the life of every soon-to-be dad when he wishes he could do the childbearing. Whether it's driven by a desire to relieve his baby-mama or out of pure morbid curiosity, it'll be there - albeit fleetingly.
He's also the guy that has to watch his significant other experience childbirth. I mean, that's got to be pretty scary, right? He can't do anything to help, he doesn't wish harm upon you but ultimately he had a major hand in causing this. It's the epitome of facing the consequences of your actions.
And then, particularly in the early days, Dad's the one who gets NONE of the credit. Mum didn't you do well having that baby? Aren't you doing well looking after him/her? Mum, are you sore/tired? Are you breast/bottle feeding? Are you getting back into shape? A thousand questions (all of which, incidentally, are invasive and kind of rude, but fairly standard) all directed at mum. Poor dad; sitting there in the corner, also having to cope with the kind of sleep deprivation that looks a lot like drunkenness, also having to wonder what the hell he is doing and how to manage this situation.
But you know who else he is? Your partner in crime, sounding board, verbal punching bag (hopefully not physical but honestly i'd see how it could happen) and the person you open up and share your deepest darkest thoughts with. And he shoulders them all, along with his own, tells you you're amazing - even when you CLEARLY didn't heat the milk right, get the baby to settle, brush your teeth this morning or speak a coherent sentence in the last 3 weeks.
I could not imagine how I would have survided the last five and a bit years without my husband, even on the days when all he does is come in and say 'why don't you go to bed' (or better - the pub). Yes OF COURSE there are days I'd happily murder him in cold blood and am convinced there isn't a jury in the land that would convict me, but probably only once a month, and I'd say in the circumstances that's a fairly reasonable average. He's my champion, my partner, my friend. I will always be grateful that he's the one I get to share this rollercoaster with.
Dad is hero, a legend. He shares the load and halves the burden, adds to the fun and creates memories with you. It's him you look at and share a giggle when the kids inadvertently say something massively inappropriate, and him you roll your eyes at when yet another tantrum kicks off. He will teach your little one what it is to live with a little less fear and a little more fun.
So today, on the day for Dads, I say let's raise a glass (obviously) for the guy who shares your pain and keeps you sane.
Sending a whole lot of love this father's day to my kid's dad. You'll never know how much you mean to us all.