For the first three years of her life, Tori was practically attached to my hip.
It was the All Mommy show, all the time, from the moment she awoke in the morning to the last time she woke up from a bad dream in the middle of the night.
And at times, I wearied of it. In fact, I may have hidden in the bathroom a time (or 200) hoping that if she couldn’t find me, she’d ask daddy to get her juice/play with her/wipe her boogie/admire her poop.
More often than not, it failed to work. And I would emerge, just as tired and with the faint smell of toilet clinging to my clothes, to care for her every need.
But things are changing.
Now, she wants her daddy. A lot.
Almost all the things that mommy used to do for her are now daddy’s territory. Juice-getting, car seat-fastening, fruit-cutting, bedtime book-reading…those things have all gone daddy’s way.
He’s the one she asks for at the end of a temper tantrum.
The one who she goes to first for a cuddle.
And I? Am left on the sidelines.
I try to be a good sport about it. To pretend that I enjoy the extra time to myself and that I’m not at all hurt when she chooses him over me.
This is, after all, exactly what he’s been dealing with for the last three years.
And sometimes it is nice. Sometimes I do enjoy being able to snatch an extra few minutes to read a book, catch up on my email, or, more likely, get another load of laundry in the wash.
But it stings.
I’m used to being first. To being the answer to all her problems. To being needed, 24/7.
And I’m not at all comfortable with this demotion.
I’ll get over it. And I’m sure there will come a time (probably soon) when I am again first in her heart.
But for now? It hurts, damn it.
And that’s the end of my whine.
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