Jewel spends most days in Mommy-only mode, meaning that when she’s hurt, crying, hungry, angry, sad…only Mommy will do. When 3B was younger, I recall these times, and my frustration with not being able–not being allowed–to help.
I could quickly make things worse by pressing on into the situation, so I’ve done my best to just walk away when that’s what Jewel tells–or screams at me–to do.
Of course, there are plenty of other times when either I can help or only Daddy will do. 3B, for example, is so big that there’s no way Mama can carry him from the car to his room while he sleeps. I can barely do it myself, but I do. And Jewel still decides, seemingly whimsically, which parent is best suited to her need. Fortunately she decides it’s Mama most of the time, since I’m away at work most of the time.
There are times, however, when only Daddy will do.
Yesterday Jewel stiff-armed our bedroom door open at 6:30 a.m., as she is wont to do immediately after she wakes up. By then I’ve been gone for half an hour, but this didn’t stop her from walking right past Mama’s, “Good morning, Jewel” to my side of the bed, staring at it for a moment, and stalking back to her room, leaving the door open in her wake. Jewel matched this at bedtime.
3B and I had spent the evening at his baseball practice, getting home just in time to give Jewel a kiss good night. She’s been struggling with some congestion recently, so I offered to snuggle with her for a moment. As soon as I lay down, she wrapped both her arms around my arm and rolled over, pulling my arm around her. Other than a short break for me to get her some PediaCare after listening to her struggle to breathe easily, that’s how we lay until she drifted off.
She would prop her head up on my other arm or shoulder, she would push closer to me, she would move the blankets around herself, but she would not let go of my arm. Nor did she need to.