Thursday, May 19, 2005

Selfish Mommy

The Hobbit (my DD) adjusts well to new people, usually. Although she might squirm or cry when she's first handed from Mom to Grandma, she can be easily distracted with a new game or toy. She hardly ever cries when we leave her at daycare. In fact, I sometimes linger outside the door on the way out, wishing that she was a little less interested in climbing into the toybox and a little more heartbroken that Mommy wasn't staying right beside her all day. On the whole, though, I would much rather have it this way than to have to disengage myself from a sobbing, clinging little vine every day. I've done that, and it sucks.
On the other hand, the Hobbit still undoubtedly prefers my company. She never complains about leaving Daddy to come to me, only the reverse. She gives hugs, but only to me. Her timing with these hugs is impeccable, too, the little manipulator! This morning, my mom stopped by our house so that DH could install a car seat in her car. She came in for a few minutes to say "hi," and she never made a move toward the Hobbit at all. (As the Hobbit was covered in raspberry yogurt and sodden Cheerios, I can hardly blame her.) Nonetheless, as soon as my mom entered the kitchen, the Hobbit threw her little sticky arms around my neck and laid her head on my shoulder. Message received.
My guilty little secret is that I LOVE this. To spare DH's feelings, I might act a little exasperated when she twists out of his grasp and heads straight for my ankles -- actually, come to think of it, sometimes it is a little cumbersome trying to unload the dishwasher with her suctioned onto my knees. Underneath it all, I'm grinning, though, as if I've won some kind of contest.
It's not that I don't want her to love her Daddy. On the contrary, it still moves me to tears every time I watch them together, and I love the way they play together. She laughs more readily for him than for anyone else; it's so sweet. But some little part of me feels it's my inherent right as the Mother to be the best Comforter, Hugger, Bathgiver, Bedtime Story Reader, etc., and it's gratifying that the Hobbit feels the same way. Am I hopelessly sexist and old-fashioned, or is my family simply settling into the roles we were born to fill?

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