1. Love her mom. Treat her mother with respect, honor, and a big heaping spoonful of public displays of affection. When she grows up, the odds are good she’ll fall in love with and marry someone who treats her much like you treated her mother. Good or bad, that’s just the way it is. I’d prefer good.
2. Always be there. Quality time doesn’t happen without quantity time. Hang out together for no other reason than just to be in each other’s presence. Be genuinely interested in the things that interest her. She needs her dad to be involved in her life at every stage. Don’t just sit idly by while she add years to her… add life to her years.
5. Pray for her. Regularly. Passionately. Continually.
9. Of course you look silly playing peek-a-boo. You should play anyway.
11. There will come a day when she asks for a puppy. Don’t over think it. At least one time in her life, just say, “Yes.”
12. It’s never too early to start teaching her about money. She will still probably suck you dry as a teenager… and on her wedding day.
17. Learn to say no. She may pitch a fit today, but someday you’ll both be glad you stuck to your guns.
18. Tell her she’s beautiful. Say it over and over again. Someday an animated movie or “beauty” magazine will try to convince her otherwise.
22. She’s as smart as any boy. Make sure she knows that.
23. When she learns to give kisses, she will want to plant them all over your face. Encourage this practice.
25. Letting her ride on your shoulders is pure magic. Do it now while you have a strong back and she’s still tiny.
30. Never miss her birthday. In ten years she won’t remember the present you gave her. She will remember if you weren’t there.
33. Take her swimsuit shopping. Don’t be afraid to veto some of her choices, but resist the urge to buy her full-body beach pajamas.
34. Somewhere between the time she turns three and her sixth birthday, the odds are good that she will ask you to marry her. Let her down gently.
37. Introduce her to the swings at your local park. She’ll squeal for you to push her higher and faster. Her definition of “higher and faster” is probably not the same as yours. Keep that in mind.
38. When she’s a bit older, your definition of higher and faster will be a lot closer to hers. When that day comes, go ahead… give it all you’ve got.
40. She might ask you to buy her a pony on her birthday. Unless you live on a farm, do not buy her a pony on her birthday. It’s OK to rent one though.
41. Take it easy on the presents for her birthday and Christmas. Instead, give her the gift of experiences you can share together.
44. Write her a handwritten letter every year on her birthday. Give them to her when she goes off to college, becomes a mother herself, or when you think she needs them most.
46. When in doubt, trust your heart. She already does.
48. Ice cream covers over a multitude of sins. Know her favorite flavor.