I was going to write a nice little post about how cute Lily is and that she actually said “take a seat” to me today while patting a little chair. I was going to go on about the wonder of my child speaking a full sentence and maybe even see if I could figure out how to post some photos of her (still without my fabulous laptop). I was going to do all that until bedtime happened.
Lil’s schedule has been really off lately. Late naps, funky bedtime and cutting teeth have turned bedtime into an uncertain event full of miss-starts, crazy behavior and false successes. Tonight, I got off work at 7:30 and was looking forward to a little time with her before the insanity began. But I was so freaking hungry that I focused on eating instead of her requests for attention. She got so out of hand that Mark took her off to bed and I finished my meal quietly, then headed over to the computer to see what all my blogging mamas had been up to. Shortly after he came back from putting her to bed, she started to cry and Mark asked me to go in, assuming she needed a little mommy time. I plucked her sobbing little body out of the crib, her little arms reaching up and circling my neck tightly. I held her and held her and held her and wanted nothing more than to just keep holding her until she drifted off to sleep peacefully. She put her perfect little head against my shoulder and popped her thumb into her mouth and we listened to the rain as it beat against the (leaking) roof. Any of you who have ever held a toddler for an extended period of time while pregnant will know what started to happen. My lower back, swayed heavily due to the weight of her in my arms, started to ache. I lowered myself to the edge of the bed and sat with her in my arms, but she quickly realized that the floor was closer and that she wanted to be on it. The struggle kicked off full force and she fought me, screaming, kicking, throwing herself backwards… calling out “want down!” and “Daddy” with a horse, frantic cry. It was all I could do not to drop her and I finally had to make a choice. Admit defeat and let her run around gleefully like a freak for a while or call for Mark. I called for Mark and as soon as he walked into the room she threw herself at him, sobbing “Daddy” over and over. I burst into tears and retreated, insisting to Mark, “she doesn’t want me!”
She’s gotten used to her daddy putting her to bed and with all the craziness of bedtime lately, I shouldn’t take it personally. But dammit, I do. It hurts me that she spends the whole day with him and the little amount of time I get with her has to have such conflict. I hate that I am not what she wants. Granted, when we all spend a day together, she tends to rotate to me more frequently, but when it comes to bedtime, she only has eyes for daddy (unless I’m in a position that causes me physical pain). I’m being childish and selfish… I want her to want me and I know she loves me and enjoys being with me. I know that this is all about routine and not who she loves more. And to be honest, there’s a part of me that feels like now I’m off the hook. I suddenly understand those people who make their spouse deal with every aspect of parenting, because HEY, the kid likes them better anyway. It’s not that this parent is a dick, it’s that it’s one way to shield yourself from rejection. Now how’s that for pathetic?
So what’s the right way to go about this? Do I start putting her to bed more even though I’m often at work during her bedtime? Is it best to just stick to one parent so she has a routine she can count on? Do I shield myself from rejection or is it part of parenting and I just need to grow my ass up? Where’s the freaking instruction manual?
But then there are those moments. Those amazing moments where my child says, “take a seat!” and I smash my big pregnant ass into the little chair, overjoyed with her and welcoming a perfect moment and I know… I know that a moment like this would never be in the manual. It’s a gift, a perfect surprise, a moment of bliss… no matter how small.