Not the favorite parent, again
My sweet daughter, now THREE!, went through about 8 months of not caring about me, or for me, or really even wanting anything to do with me. She loved having a new baby, and still adores her little brother, but once he came along and I was out of it for so long, I think her affections grew stronger for other members of the family, my parents, my sister, certainly AA.
She’d protest coming to sit on my lap, read with me, have me put her down for naps or bedtime, have me put her in the carseat, have me do most things for her (at that point she was still in diapers for naps & bedtime so changes were a real party). Every morning when she discovered, to her shock and dismay, that once again Dada had abandoned her for work, she would wail. And look for him everywhere. It’s a big house. That was a lot of wandering wailing.
It hurt, and I remembered how SuperBoy was the same after she was born. I realized this was a stage and now am much more appreciative and open to connecting with her on her terms.
SuperBoy feels close with us listening to an audiobook while I’m cooking because he’s with me and we’re talking. She feels close when I leave my chores in the kitchen and come up to her room. I’ve stopped say “later” and now actually do it–go and play with her and leave the chores for later.
They’ll wait, but she’ll stop asking.
And even if we have different primary love languages, I am the adult and I am the one to adjust my expectations of how and when we’ll connect to her and who she is. I don’t want these early years to be a blur of a frustrated toddler crying for me to come and be with her upstairs. I want to continue to say “yes, of course I’m coming” even if I do have to finish what I’m doing.
Then she’s hearing “yes” and that she’s worth it.
Even when I’m sewing or working in my studio space, I have a few special things that she can do alongside me which she LOVES because it’s quality time! She can use my small scissors to decimate a few stacks of fabric scraps. She takes insatiable delight in pealing the crayon paper off the body of the crayon. And her most favortist ever? I let her push my pins into our old fabric couch. It’s like a mosaic art form for her. #parentingfail or #parentingwin #youtellme