I am positive that it is perfectly natural for a child to like and/or want one parent over the other. I am also positive that this preference can change on any given day or perhaps even several times during the same day. Therefore, I am totally confidant that my little sweet pea shadow will again, some day, want to be glommed to my side and not her daddy’s. I am also totally confidant, however, that that day may not come for some time.
I mean, really. Do you see the look of adoration in the girl’s eyes? And the way her smile lights up when she’s in his arms?
Yep, I see it, too. And even though I could potentially feel quite shunned some days (as in, she starts screaming if I so much as try to remove her from her carseat or put her to bed instead of having her dearest father do it), the whole infatuation is just too darn sweet to take personally.
Like many littles, Raegan’s first “word” was Mama. And while I still hear “Mama!” all the time from her, over the last few weeks, she has been requesting and calling out to and lunging for “Daddy!!” far more.
I first noticed the trend with her pre-sleep books. She had started these shenanigans where she wanted umpteen books read to her before being put in her crib – at nap and at night. We realized pretty quickly she was just working the system, so we decided three was the magic number and she would get no more than that, even though she still got to pick the reading material. As much as she’s good at saying, “Mama” and “Daddy,” she’s even better at “No” and “Nope!” In other words, she makes her reading and feeding selections pretty darn clear. And her books of choice? Any and all board books about Daddy. We have a handful of them up in her room and I think I have read “My Daddy and I,” “I Love My Daddy Because…,” and “Daddy Hugs” more times in the last month than in the last four years. Well, that and “The Mitten” which happens to be her other favorite these days, full disclosure.
But, yes. Major Dad Favoritism began cropping up several weeks ago and now it is in full swing. If Ben goes out the door without her, she wails. If he isn’t the one to hold, carry, change, feed, etc. her, she wails. Now, granted, she sometimes wails during meals and before sleep regardless of who is with her (not that I’m gloating about that or anything), but if she could have her choice, it would be All Daddy All the Time right now. And, as timing would have it, this is all actually rather perfect.
Ben finished up with his school year just in time for me to begin teaching an intense three-week session at the community college that started last Monday. Instead of him scurrying about in the mornings, trying to get showered and breakfasted and out the door, it’s me who is doing all of those things. And while it’s been challenging thanks to another round of nasty head colds for all four Welschies and the fact that I have never taught while quite this pregnant, I at least can leave the house every day knowing that the kids, RL in particular, are super thrilled to be hanging out with Dad for the morning.
I know my time in the sun with her will come back. And then go. And then come again. And really, that is just fine, because her daddy and I will always do our best to be there for her, no matter who she prefers on any given day.