For the first few months of motherhood, especially if you’re the sole source of food, its Mommy-time all the time. Every couple of hours you’re the most important person in the world to that little one. Though its tiring, you do feel wanted, and needed and almost special even though you know that baby has no way to really decide with whom they want to spend their time. Now, when you sign up at whatever-baby-site you choose when you’re pregnant, you get a monthly email of “how baby is growing” and for some reason what food they compare too, but that’s another discussion. Guess what, after baby arrives, you get another set of emails that says what your “8-week-old is doing.” Yeesh. So many emails. Well, in one of those very numerous emails it will actually say “don’t be surprised if baby only wants mommy during this time.” This email usually arrives directly after a night that was particularly trying. Baby wouldn’t sleep, only wanted to be held and when she finally drifted off and you got her into the crib the blasted door squeaked… You have to be kidding me. Back to square one. Then while you’re rocking her in the wee hours of the morning scrolling through Facebook, you get said email. If your phone were to take a photo of your face at that exact moment you’d be as famous as McKayla Maroney circa 2012. Not exactly what you were expecting in your fragile state. It may seem overwhelming and exhausting to be on all the time, but it really is only for a short amount of time in the scheme of things. Though it sure doesn’t feel like it.
At some point, tiny babies become big enough that they can choose who they want to be around. Not that they can really go anywhere. The emails stop being able to predict their behavior and they begin to develop a personality all their own. You also start to feel more like a human and less like an all-you-can-eat-buffet, usually around month 3 or 4. In our house, this was where the shift started with Bubba. He started to smile when Daddy walked in the room. He reached for Daddy or rolled toward Daddy’s big booming voice. All of a sudden, I wasn’t the center of his universe. His little world was expanding and the center was shifting. It was an odd combination of feelings. Relief that he would let us share front-line duties, a little selfish sadness that I was sharing said duties, because who doesn’t like to be needed, and overall happiness that I had a front-row-seat to watch my two favorite boys interact and develop a relationship. It was like a big sigh of relief.
Once Bubba got even older he would choose days to feature one parent. He couldn’t do it consciously, but we could always tell. It was before he could speak coherently but his actions spoke volumes. He would cry about something and then as soon as he got to the parent of choice, ta da tears be gone. That’s how you knew you were on that day.
Now that he’s older he shows his choices by who he asks to play with, repeatedly, or who gets to go to the bathroom with an audience. Or the phrase, “Daddy, do it.” I chuckle when he asks me for something and when I go to get it he immediately yells “No! Daddy do it!” You’ve got it, bud- Daddy, you’re up. In that moment, I know, it is a Daddy day. The Daddy Days are more frequent, especially on weekends, now that Little Bear is here. I know to cherish them. They give me a few moments to sit back and enjoy the interaction between them once again. If it’s a Daddy Day and Little Bear is sleeping, I may even be able to shower for a humane amount of time. One thing has yet to change, only Mommy can heal boo-boos with kisses, and I hope that doesn’t change anytime soon. Today, is a Daddy Day. In celebration, I might enjoy an extra cup of coffee or write an extra blog. Oh, the possibilities.
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