Thursday, May 13, 2010

Fess Up Friday: The "Be Careful What You Wish For" Edition

Remember when I told you that Charlotte was a Daddy's girl? And remember how I said it really bugged me?

Well, a couple weeks ago, Charlotte wasn't feeling well, and during those few days of fevers and crankiness, she was all mine. She didn't want anyone else (not even DADDY!) to hold her. She wanted to cuddle with me, wanted me to put her down for naps, and wanted me where she could see me, damnit! And even though she's nowhere near that level of clinginess these days, it seems to have triggered something in her, because she's been all up in my business since then.

And, my confession?

I love it. And, I hate it.

I guess the latter is more...confessiony. That is to say, of COURSE I love finally being the preferred parent most of the time. It's a nice change of pace. I love seeing her little arms reach for me, love hearing her ask "Mom? Mom?" when Chris collects her after a nap, I even kinda love when she cries for me when I have to leave her (I know. That's just a little bit sick).

But, I also HATE when she cries for me because if there's one emotion that can really fuck me up, it's guilt. It eats me up, ruins my day. Guilt is the reason I've been a crappy sleep trainer, the reason I give Charlotte a cookie when I've made her sit in the car too long, and the reason I nurse her every night at 3 A.M., even though every evening, I say I won't. So, even though it's an ego boost to have Charlotte want me, it feels wrong and unnatural not to go to her when she cries for me.

But, sometimes, I can't. And this is where the real problem lies. Even though, yes, I am a stay-at-home mom, and yes, it is primarily my responsibility to take care of her, I occasionally need some time to myself, I need to work out, I need to WRITE. Most of the time, it's fine, because she still loves her daddy. So, I can duck out for an errand or grown-up coffee date and leave her at home. But, being 15 minutes into my workout at the gym and having the daycare page me to inform me she's been booted for her wailing? Not so cool.

And then there was the night she spent in our bed a few days ago. She acted like she was being physically assaulted each time we tried to put her in her crib. It was late. We were tired. We suck at sleep training. What more can I say? So, there she was, in our bed, kicking and chatting, and sitting up. Chris and I are exhausted, and I decide to turn my back to her, hoping to check out and let Chris deal with her for a minute. I no sooner roll over when she starts SCREAMING. I didn't even leave the bed! Apparently, she needed me to watch her not sleep. Later she grabbed her bunny and cuddled up to me, leaving Chris alone on his side of the bed. This made him sad. Which made me feel guilty.

It's like I said before: I know her favoritism will come in waves. So, I'm soaking it in now, while I can. But, that doesn't mean it isn't a tad stifling at times. Like when I'm just getting a good sweat on the elliptical, after haven driven twenty minutes to the gym and standing in line to check her into the daycare, and I have to pack it all up and go home. Or when I want to get some sleep, and she'll have no one but me keep her company in the middle of the night. Or when she's being carried down the hallway at nap time, reaching and screaming for me, and I have to deal with the guilt of not going to her because I selfishly want to hand that off to Chris so I can have a few moments to myself.

So, the moral here is "Be careful what you wish for." Because you just might get it. Though, anything involving a baby that cute could never be all bad.


  1. I must say that it isn't great being the grandma while she's going through this noxious little phase....

  2. I know exactly how you feel... and now I'm going to go fess up!

  3. Yeah, sorry about that, Mom!

    Yay, for fessing up, Brooke!

  4. Oh... and "little phase" lasts for at least a year. Just an FYI :-)