Sunday, January 1, 2012

The Chosen One

Having the hubs around to help out more these past few weeks because of the holiday has been really wonderful. I haven't had to deal with the feeling of wanting to split myself in two because the baby needs to be nursed at almost the EXACT time the toddler needs to be put down for his nap. I haven't had to worry about finding time to pee or eat my lunch. And, most wonderful of all, I have gotten to sleep in and nap on several occasions  while he took care of the kids. I'm glad I married such a good dad.

Only the other night, putting Ben to bed, I discovered an unpleasant by-product of my husband's increased presence. As I was picking out his book and getting ready to read to him, he said "I want it to be Daddy's night". Daddy had put him to bed the last two nights so it was definitely my turn, but apparently having Daddy around was becoming the preference. I said that tomorrow would be Daddy's night, all the while trying not to let the sting show. I have noticed recently that my tot seems to prefer my husband's company. I suspect that this is a combination of toddler preference and the arrival of his little sister.

This new development has reminded me of a time about a year ago when the tables were turned. Every night Ben requested he be rocked by his mama. He cried when it was his dad's turn and fussed when I gave him kisses and tried to leave the room. Both of us felt terrible - me for "abandoning" him when he so clearly wanted me and the hubs because of the obvious rejection. I remember at that time trying to graciously console my husband and reassure him that this would pass. It was only a phase and before we knew it, things would be the other way around and Daddy would be the most desired companion and I would be on the outs. That I would at some point be in the very same position of his father, I had no doubt. What I did not consider at that time was how I would feel about it.

I'm finding it's much easier to be the chosen one than the less desirable option. I struggle with guilt that I have somehow brought this on myself by daring to have more than one child or by not being better at balancing the needs of the two. I worry that he will always prefer his dad's company. I struggle with not taking it personally. In a way, it's almost comical how wounded I can be by the rejection of a two year old. I have to remind myself of the very same things I said to my husband not so long ago - this is a phase and this will pass. I hope it does soon.

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