So, my little sweetie has taken the term "Daddy's Girl" up several notches these days...
She's always shown a slight preference for Dennis, and I never had a problem with that. I want them to have a really strong bond. I want for her to always look to her daddy for guidance. To see him as her protector and provider and to know how much he loves her.
He's an absolutely amazing father. The minute he held Kaylee in his arms for the first time it was like he was a different man. It came so naturally. When I freak out, he remains calm. He sticks to his guns. He does what he says he'll do. He sets boundaries with her. He's just an amazing father.
And right now - she likes him better. A lot better, if I'm being totally honest with you. And boy, oh, boy does it ever hurt me to the core.
Before, when she was littler, it was always kind of cute and funny, but the more her personality is starting to come through (and boy does this kid have a dynamic personality - let me tell you...), the more blatant she is in her "not-so-much" attitude toward me.
Last night we read her a bed time story. I held her in my lap. Dennis read the book. Lights out. Music on. Bottle out. And...she's screaming at me, lunging toward her dad, and quiets the instant she's in his arms. So much for a peaceful little rock with me and my baby while she drifts off to La La Land.
This morning Dennis was holding her and she was smiling at me. That's good, right? Well, as he gets ready to go outside to load the car with all her baby paraphernalia for the sitter's, I said, "Oh, I'll hold her while you do that!" thinking I could get in a few minutes with my babe before I had to go to work for the day, too.
Holy fit from HELL! She screamed the moment I began to hold her. She's bawling her little eyes out - tears just rolling down her little face, and she starts banging her head into my chest in all of her little baby anguish.
I'm betting you can guess exactly what she did the minute Dennis came back in and I handed her over.
Instant calm. Instant quiet. Insert a Kaylee smile here.
So, she's happy, she content, and I go to give her a kiss before they leave. Do you know what she did? She moved her whole head back - away from me - and actually turned her cheek so that I could not give her a kiss.
I admit it. I called her a brat. I retreated to my room and the cry fest that began last night after the bed time showdown commenced yet again.
You know the phrase all moms have in their bag of tricks? "After all I've DONE for you?!?! After I carried you for 9 months and gave BIRTH to you and NURSED you and..." Yep. That went through my head. I think it was always ingrained in my head, and not until this moment did it truly emerge.
Dennis and I talked a lot about this last night because never had I struggled with this issue so much. Our consensus is that she is showing a preference for him because she sees him as the more "fun" one. When he gets home, they get to play. He's definitely better at that than me.
Don't get me wrong - I love playing with Kaylee. It's just that I've constantly got this scrolling to-do list in my head. "Balance the check book, make the mortgage payment, start dinner, get Kaylee's food ready for the babysitter's tomorrow, pick out my outfit for tomorrow, throw in a load of laundry..." NEVER. ENDING.
When I'm home with her, it's so hard to ignore all those other things because - well, you've read my posts about how stressed out I get when my house goes to crap. I feel this overwhelming responsibility to keep this house up and running AND spend quality time with my baby.
I told Dennis I feel bad because it seems like I MADE her this way by not playing with her enough. Mommy Guilt? You bet your booty I've got THAT going on right now.
In what appears to be a gift from up above sent at precisely the right time - I've got the next 6 days off of work. Dennis suggested going out and doing things with Kaylee and not worrying about the house stuff. If I'm not at home, I won't be distracted by everything that needs attention.
So, tomorrow, we're heading to the play center at the mall, and we'll do some window shopping. Thursday we're going to story time with our Mommy and Me group, followed by a picnic at the park. Maybe we'll even throw in a play date at some point. Maybe I'll take up drinking. Who knows.
What I do know is this - this week it's all about me and Kaylee. We're going to play. We're going to have fun. And we (ME) are not going to get our undies in a bunch if the house looks like crap.
She's growing up WAY too fast for my liking, and even if she screams and cries and kicks her legs in the process, we're going to have one helluva fun week together.
Whether she likes it or not.