Yeah, I’m lookin at you, blondie. The one whom I so glowingly reviewed a few weeks back.
You like making a Pinocchio out of me, ne c'est pas?
Or you’re going through what I am told is “a phase.” An “I can’t stand my mother and will punch her in the nose because she is not daddy” phase.
The problem is that for it to be a phase or to exist at all, it must be googleable. I believe that needs to be, like, the fourth law of physics. You google it, therefore, it is. I mean, you can google “sheep sombrero” and get an actual hit. Go ahead, try it. I’ll wait.
Now try and google “4 year old rejects mother” and you will get a steady stream of sympathetic askville.com residents and mamapedes reassuring your husband that their child will eventually come around and like them again. Because clearly, hating dad is a milestone, like rolling over or saying Ma for the first time. It's normal because moms are AWESOME. But nowhere can I find empirical evidence that it is normal for the under 15 set to spontaneously loathe the person who foreswore dresses and regularly inserted their nipples into a pump that sounded like a possessed Italian man so that said kiddo could nurse freely for a year and a half.
Not that I’m bitter.
I’m scared. I’m scared I’ve lost the most important popularity contest I never knew I entered and I have no idea how I did it. I went out of town for work just as she came down with a nasty virus. Daddy was there to play nurse when he is usually playing Captain Ahab to our white whale on Overton Park, so when I came home the next day, I apparently shouldn't have bothered.
I want Daddy, she told me when I heard her stirring.
Why don’t we get some breakfast I asked, holding my arms out to her.
No! She kicked the air between us.
Hey now. That’s not nice.
I want Daddy! She hollered. To reinforce her point, she punched me in the nose.
I took my own timeout in the kitchen and tried to calm down while she sobbed for daddy.
The next morning she didn’t even talk to me. Rather than brush it off like I should have, I behaved like the pregnant woman I am and sobbed. Harlow glared at me. I told her she made mommy cry. This made her burst into tears - and hold her arms out for daddy. He shot me a look and dried her tears. I went to the bathroom so I could sob in private. And for the next week, every morning proceeded the same way, giving me the cold shoulder or down right swatting me in the hopes I would vanish. I kept a roll of toilet paper at the breakfast table to mop up my morning tears.
Daddy went back to toiling on the house full time. She would wake, grunt at me, search the loft and finding no sign of daddy, she would finally permit me to hold her.
I buried my face in her hair and held her while she drank up her chocolate milk. Maybe it's because of the unexpected bribe - er - bounty of chocolate milk she has discovered recently at the table, but she's being nicer. I'm thinking chocolate croissants may be in order to start the day. Whatever I can do to make her love me again before she hates me in earnest at age 14.