drop the towel honey

Ingrained Forever

A/N: This is my idea. I needed Spencer Dad fluff, so here it is. :D 

                                                               —-

“Y/N! Honey! Get out here!”

Without thinking, I dropped the towels I was folding and ran outside to where Spencer and the baby were. Nothing in his voice said cheerful; it said panic. So I ran. And what do I see?

Our 3-and-a-half-month old baby girl, Chloe, propped up against a couple of pillows and Spencer hiding behind his hands. “You have to see this,” he said without taking his eyes off Chloe. “Also, you might want to get your phone out.”

“What is it?” I asked hotly. “You called me out here and it sounded like you were panicked.”

Spencer glanced over, his eyes alight with a joy that hadn’t been able to shine through since the day Chloe was born. Not that anything was wrong - everything was great, more than great - but also very, very tiring, like seriously tiring. My own mother told me that having a baby was exhausting. Unbelievably exhausting. But truly, I had underestimated what having a new baby was like. Unequivocally tiring and also the greatest thing that had ever happened to me. “She’s laughing,” he finally said.

My heart jumped. No fucking way. “Seriously? Like, for real? She’s laughing? I think I’m gonna cry.”

“Look.” He smiled before turning back toward Chloe. “Hey, Chloe. Look at Daddy.” Having known Spencer for years, I could tell you using the fingers on one hand the amount of times that my husband had looked this happy. Our wedding was one. Chloe’s birthday was another. And this was definitely one more. “Peek-a-boo!” The second the words left his lips, he wiggled his fingers and the most joyous, high-pitched sound emanated from those beautiful chubby cheeks.

“Oh my god, Spence, do it again.”

Honestly, I had never heard something so beautiful in all my life. As Spencer continued to wiggle his fingers and make silly noises, Chloe continued to babble, her laugh filling my ears with the sweetest sounds imaginable. “Spence, she’s beautiful, oh my god, I can’t. Let me try.”

My amazing, beautiful, dorky, full-of-love husband scooted over just slight so I could prop myself up on my elbows next to him and repeat what he’d been doing. “Hello my beautiful baby. Chloe, look at Mommy.” Those cheeks. They were bright and red and full of life, her toothless little grin making my heart race at the speed of light. There were few people I loved more than words could describe, and I didn’t think it was possible to have that love for another person until Chloe was born. 

There was nothing I wouldn’t do for her.

And right now there wasn’t anything I wouldn’t do to make her laugh. If I had to dance around the apartment like a monkey and make all sorts of noises, I would do it again to hear that beautiful sound. “Can you pull out your phone while I do this?” I asked.

Spencer reached into his back pocket and grabbed his phone, talking to Chloe about how she was the most beautiful, precious being he’d ever seen in his life. “Okay, I’m ready,” he said, biting his lower lip to keep from cracking his face apart through the widest smile imaginable. “I need this for when I’m on a case and I need to smile.”

“Peek-a-boo!”

She started laughing even harder than before. “Spence, it’s like a full-on person laugh, not just a little baby laugh!” How was this possibly coming out of our three month old. 

“Keep doing it!” He needled, playfully punching me in the arm. “Do it until she stops because this is the greatest thing I’ve ever seen.” He was enthralled. Every time I made faces at Chloe, I would turn to see Spencer’s gaze fixed on her; his brain was spinning, trying to etch this moment into his mind for the rest of his life. 

When someone was on their deathbed, it was said that their lives flashed before their eyes; if that’s true, both Spencer and I would remember this moment. 

After nearly a half hour of hearing Chloe laugh, she stopped, looking around the apartment as best she could given her movement capabilities. “I’m gonna start making dinner and then maybe you can finish while I feed her?” I asked. Breastfeeding had never been something I imagined doing, and at first it was weird, but I loved it now and after such elation I wanted to feed my munchkin myself instead of Spencer using a bottle. 

“Sounds good,” he replied, putting his phone back in his pocket and crawling toward Chloe. “Until then, I am going to assault her with kisses.”

Popping up from my position on the floor, I grabbed Spencer’s face in my hands and planted a smooch on him. Parenting was insanely difficult, but also one of the greatest things I have ever done, and I’m pretty sure Spencer feels the same way. “I think she’ll like that.”

Her hitch-pitched giggle nearly brought me away from preparing dinner, because she screeched with joy as Spencer planted kisses all over her tiny tummy. Occasionally, Spencer would speak in baby talk, but more often than not, he would speak to her like a person, and as I put a pot of pasta on the stove, I heard Spencer speak softly to our daughter and couldn’t help but tear up. 

“Hey Chloe, Daddy loves you, you know that right?” 

Smooch.

Giggle.

“I love you and Mommy more than anything else in the world, okay?”

Giggle.

Smooch.

“No matter what happens, ever, in your whole entire life, I love you, little girl.” 

“Ow!”

“What the hell was that?” I asked, turning around to see Chloe’s hands hitting Spencer’s cheeks. 

“She’s smacking my cheeks after I just proclaimed my love! Nice Chloe!”

I snorted and walked over, planting a teeny kiss on my baby’s cheek. “Maybe she’s just trying to hug you, did you think of that?”

“She’s too young for that,” he laughed.

True. She was probably just smacking him in the face because it was fun. But that didn’t keep me from thinking it. “I mean, you never know. Maybe she’s a genius baby like her Daddy.”

@coveofmemories @jamiemelyn @sexualemobitch @unstoppableangel8 @iammostdefinitelyonfire26 @rmmalta @lukeassmanalvez @yoinkpeter @the-slytherin-ice-queen

2

The joy of baking

I mix and knead and then set the dough to rise in my chipped enamel bowl. My bench scraper portions the warm dough into 18 pieces. After rolling each piece into a snake-like shape, one end is dipped into a shallow bowl of water. A pinch and a fold at the juncture guarantees the two ends will lock together, a gesture so familiar over the years I can do it without looking. The rings of dough rise again under a clean dish towel and then are gently dropped into honey-sweetened, simmering water. After their brief bath, each side is dipped into seeds, blank spots created from where my fingers held them. Under a continuous trickle of water in my sink, I rinse my fingers and repeat the process. Sheet pans lined with crisp parchment paper and shimmering bagels go into the hot oven and bake until they’re brown and crisp. My little kitchen smells like heaven.  

A hot bagel is split. Its interior is soft and slightly sweet. Butter quickly melts on one half, cold cream cheese is clumsily spread on the other. I can’t wait. I stand at the kitchen sink and smile as I devour this beautiful food that I made.