The other day I needed some alone time, so I snuck upstairs to read for 20 minutes.
From my bedroom I could hear the telltale noises of my daughter trying to follow me.
My husband: “What are you doing on the stairs? Leave mommy alone.”
Being almost 2 years old, she, of course, broke down in tears.
My 4.5 year old son tried a different approach: “Where’s Mommy?”
My husband: “She’s upstairs. She needs some space.”
4.5 year old: “I need space, too. Right next to Mommy.”
I couldn’t help laughing to myself when I heard my 4.5 year old proclaim this. I had been upstairs for a total of 5 minutes and my kids just could not understand why I was up there. ALONE.
I honestly think that if my kids could attach themselves to me physically, they would. My son wouldn’t let me put him down for the first two years of his life (I know all babies like to be held, but he really took it to a whole new level). And now he is nearly five years old, but he still doesn’t like to do anything by himself. Even my daughter, arguably a more easy-going personality, constantly finds ways to get as close to me as humanly possible.
I understand that kids love their parents and we obviously love them too. But what people didn’t tell me was that for the first few years, my kids would primarily want me. Not their dad, even though he tries to help. Only me. For everything.
I swear this is what they are thinking:
- Thirsty? No, Mom needs to fill the water bottle. It tastes different when Dad does it.
- Your butt needs wiped? Better call Mom to help, Dad can’t wipe that poop off as well.
- Need some help picking up your toys? Don’t ask Dad, he’s not the professional. Mom should do all the cleaning.
- You want someone to attend to you while getting a toy from upstairs? Better get Mom. And make sure she doesn’t go without you to get the toy. You should walk up the stairs together, totally together. You must use the same tread on the stairs for each step you take. It’s not as meaningful if you are on different treads.
- Pancakes must always be cut into bite-sized squares. And don’t let Dad do that. He’s terrible at cutting uniform sizes. It obviously affects the taste.
I love my children to pieces, but there are times when it doesn’t pay to be the favorite. I wipe more butts, prepare more food, play more, clean more, and have less time alone.
I’m sure there will be a day when I miss their favoritism and wistfully remember how much they used to want to be with me, but at this point in my life, I’m pretty envious of my husband. He gets to use the bathroom by himself!