Monday, March 23, 2009

What am I? Chopped liver?

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.

So there.


Deb said...

i don't know... i am thinking you need to send her ass to boarding school. oh wait... that's MY child i'm thinking of.

but interestingly, your sweet little girl and my grumpy 15 yo smelly boy have a lot in common right now... they both prefer the company of their dads. i just got put through the ringer this afternoon by moody and i have to say, my feelings are hurt and i'm pissed! BUT, i also have an inkling of what my hubs goes through, because overall, moody is closer to me. but it hasn't always been that way. so i don't know... maybe it's cyclical. i do think you should concentrate on the two of you. you don't need to worry about the house or dinner. you have all that cereal you can eat.

sheesh... kids!

Anonymous said...

That made me a bit sad to see you so sad, but I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if you two have some special bonding that takes place this week. Have fun with her!!!

sassy stephanie said...

Cut yourself a break. It is nothing you did. Some girls are just natural Daddy's girls. I am one of them. Still am to this day.

My oldest daughter, now 8, was ALWAYS and still is a Daddy's girl. And when I say always, I truly mean always. Since birth really. It really started to show when she was six months, crawling as fast as she could to get to Dad when he got home from work. But, when she is sick...she wants me. I think it is so awesome to see the tie the two of them have.

My son...momma's boy. My second daughter, until she was three..all mine. Like, threw a fit if Dad tucked her in instead of Mom mine. Now, she pretty much rides the fence.

Anonymous said...

Oh man, I could have written a smaller version of this post. I don't know what I would do if Noelle showed THAT strong of a preference for Al (but the word 'brat' also comes to mind). She's definitely a daddy's girl, too, and I do love the bond they have (as long as it doesn't interfere with our own bond). For us, she definitely sees Al as the fun one, because he's goofy and silly and mostly plays with her. I also have the constant to-do list running through my head and I honestly can't spend every waking moment entertaining her.

I really hope you two get some great quality time these next few days, and that Kaylee gets over this issue. After all, what you went through nursing ALONE to give her such a great start in life is a WHOOOOOOLE lot. ;) I wasn't sure that kind of thing would ever come up in the future with Noelle, but it's already there under the surface!

~ Ruth

April said...

Sounds like a great idea for yalls week. My daughter is a MAJOR Daddy's girl too unless she is sick. Then she only wants me. I just figure it is because she is with me all the time and he works. But my sons are major mama's boys. It all works out in the end.

Jenners said...

I've heard that girls prefer their daddies and boys prefer their mommies -- some kind of Oedipal thing or something. I have to say, my son totally prefers me over my husband and it just kills him. And really, it is a burden to me as well -- I want a break from him sometimes. But don't think for a minute she doesn't love you and don't take it personally AT ALL. I know it is hard ... my husband struggles with it sometimes. And I think spending time together that are totally Kaylee-focused might help. It is hard when the other parent walks in and is the "hero" or the "fun" one but you can do it too. Good luck with this ... and really, don't take it personally. I always "preferred" my dad to my mom and I think it is just hardwired in us to some degree. In a way, I was a bit relieved I had a boy instead of a girl for this exact reason.

Summer said...

Hey girl!

I've been trying to do some actual reading of books so I'm behind on blog reading.

I'm so sorry that you are dealing with this right now. I totally know how hard it is. But, let me tell you, that at least with Taylor, it's a back and forth thing. And it all depends on the stage he's in. Sometimes it's all about me, and other times it's all about daddy.

No matter what, play or not, she will love you because you love her.

I promise!