All of a sudden, my stage five clinger has totally turned on me. Since birth, Olivia has been all about mommy all the time. However, whether it’s my stern, mommy-don’t-play-that attitude or the fact that she’s just grown bored of me, Dad is totally fetch right now.
A part of me is a little hurt. Stop trying to make “Dad” happen, Olivia! After all, aren’t I the one that carried you for nine months, birthed you, irrevocably wrecked my body, fed you exclusively from the boob for a year because bottles were so last season, and spent every waking moment with you since? Where are my sweet hugs? Where are my giggles and laughs? Because you sure as hell don’t try that terrible twos crap with Dad. I know that for a fact because I asked Joe if Olivia had ever tried to hit him or spit in his face. He immediately changed the subject.
And why would she? Daddy is the light of her little life. The other morning I retrieved her from her crib. After taking a deep breath before plunging into another trying day of wrangling the one they call Olivia, I opened the door and melted as she stretched out her little arms for me. I picked her up and tried to snuggle her for a brief moment before she completely woke up and tried to take over the world. She was having none of it as she tried to leap out of my arms. “Where my daddy? Where is he?” She scanned the room frantically looking for him, only calming after I said he was still sleeping.
“Can I have a hug?” I asked.
Her chubby cheeks screwed themselves up into a grumpy face. “No. Go downstairs. Watch Tolls” (FYI, Tolls = Trolls. Our latest obsession. Bye, Moana).
And this is my current life. I deal with all of the tantrums, the messes, the literal and figurative crap and similar to Rodney Dangerfield, I get no respect. Enforcing any sort of discipline only endears her to Dad even more. A timeout is a surefire way to get her yelling, “I want my daaaaaadddddyyyy!” Clearly he is her knight and shining armor to my wicked witch.
When it starts to get dark outside, Olivia looks out the window excitedly “It’s getting darker! Daddy home soon!” When he finally does come home, she trucks towards the door as fast as those little legs will carry her and gives him the biggest, mushiest hug.
It is such a sweet thing to watch. Yes, I love the bond between AJR and Joe, but it’s a totally different ballgame watching your manly man husband get reduced to a smiling puddle of goo by his tiny, pig-tailed daughter. They cuddle together on the couch. She will only let him comb her wild mane of hair, going into a trance-like state as he does so. She is so in love with him and I guess I can’t fault her for that.
As a self-proclaimed daddy’s girl myself, I understand the bond very well. I also know, that while Dad can do no wrong in the eyes of an adoring daughter, mom is always going to be the #1 when shit gets real. If things truly go wrong or you’re sick or hurt – you aren’t calling Dad. You’re calling mom. Mom is the one that holds your hair and rubs your back while you puke. Somehow her ginger ale and saltines are Michelin-star quality. Mom is the one that can almost anything with a hug. How do I know this? Because this “daddy’s girl” very much still needs her mom and always has.
So for now, Joe may be the one getting all of the sugar and I may be dealing with the spice, but deep down I know that Olivia is, and hopefully will remain, her mommy’s girl.