Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Daddy Worship

Oscar and his Dad: Two Peas in a Pod

I knew that it was coming. Friends warned me about it, and I actually thought I was looking forward to it.

Daddy worship.

It supposedly happens sometime between a year and 18 months, particularly in boy children. They just become really into their dad, preferring them even to mom. I'm not sure why but, my mom friends say it's like a switch flips and all of a sudden it's all about the Dada.

I thought, "It'll be great, Oscar and Nelson will get really close just before the baby is due. I'll be easier on me that way. He'll be clinging to his dad, not to me. I'll have a little space, a little breathing room before the baby arrives. And once the baby is here, Oscar will be so enamored with his Dad, he won't even miss me."

And you know what? They have gotten really close of the past weeks. Like, really close.

When Nelson enters a room, Oscar screams with delight and runs over to him.

If I'm holding Oscar and Nelson walks by, he begins whining and reaching out to him.

If, god forbid, Nelson needs to pass Oscar off to me, his little face crumples into a mass of tears and he clings to his dad like a little spider monkey.

Like I said, I thought it would be great. A relief even. But instead, I have to try really hard to not let it break my heart.

My baby, who once lived for me, breathed for me, was nourished by me, took his very life blood from me, if forsaking me for his dad.

I should not be jealous. I should be happy. It is traditionally much more difficult for dads to bond with babies, particularly when that baby is breastfed by a stay-at-home-mom. Nelson has waited a long time for the moment Oscar would come to him, cuddle him, be contented by his Daddy's arms. He's worked for it. He deserves it.

Now, it's not like Oscar has washed his hands of me completely. He still comes to me and cuddles me and calls to me and plants himself on my lap to play with toys while giving the occasional kiss or hug. He still loves and needs his mom.

But, when Daddy's in the room, I play second fiddle.

And I hate it.

And I hate the fact that I hate it.

I want my baby back.


Martin said...

You may hate it, but it's the sweetest bloody thing I've read all day.

moo said...

I know exactly what you mean. Except that we skipped "dada worship" and went to "grandmother worship."

It's so annoying.

But how can you resent it? GAH!

Jenni said...

Ah, well, good then.

Veronica Foale said...

Ah the Daddy worship.

Amy goes through stages with it. Sigh. I know exactly how you feel.

Mike said...

Me likes this concept of "Daddy worship." I have forwarded this post to Maddie.