And it's not so much that your kid wants his Mommy - it's that he emphatically doesn't want you. Case in point, I was changing my daughter's diaper the other day and she made it very clear to me that I was not very high on the list of people she wanted to see. As she struggled to break free, she went down the list of people she would rather have in the room... "Mom-my"... "Zai-dy"... "Bu-bie"... "Na-na"... "Ka-thy" (her daycare provider)..."Lo-Lo" (her aunt)... "Mam-da" (Amanda, another aunt)... "De-De" (herself)... "Baby" (any stuffed animal or doll)... and... "Kla-@#$-&^%*" (?????). It was comical at first, but then the reality set in: she didn't want me. And, to be honest, that kinda sucked. It hurt my feelings, and it wasn't even intentional on her part. It was just how she felt.
I don't know about other people, but I pride myself on being a hands-on Dad. Because my wife leaves the house in the wee hours to go to work, I'm the guy who feeds, dresses, entertains, and drives my daughter to daycare- every single morning. And when I get home from work, I happily take over dinner duty, story time, and putting her to bed. I lay out her clothes. I prepare her snacks. I put on a Hazmat suit and change her freakin' Diaper Genie... and for what? So her mother can get all the credit? No! Where's the fairness in that? I'm not saying my wife and I don't equally share the responsibilities of raising our child. We do. And I think we do it well, so every time I go within two feet of my daughter and she wails "MOMMY," I think I'm getting the short end of the stick... No.... I know I am! And it blows.
I've faced rejection in my life. There were more than a few House League hockey coaches that cringed when they saw me on their roster and traded me... for a two-dollar-and-fifty-cent pack of smokes. There were numerous blind dates that ended with a handshake. There were a lot of "Don't call us. We'll call yous" in both my personal and professional life....The band teacher who told me I played the clarinet like "a Beaver" (actually, that was a friend of mine- great story). But, this is my daughter. The one person who I could count on to build me up, and (at least until she has friends that can put together a cohesive sentence) look up to me. WTF?
I know, there's a few of you, mostly mothers, reading and saying: "Well, what about your wife? She has to do everything now." Who says? Just because my daughter screams her name, doesn't mean she comes running each and every time. I'm still on morning, dinner and bedtime duty. The only difference is it's under protest... both from me, and my daughter. And, as annoying as it is for my wife to watch me struggle and hear my daughter call out to her, time and again, she loves it at the same time. It's payback for the fact that the first word my daughter ever spoke was "Daddy," and it pisses her off.
I don't know how long this will last? I don't know if it will come and go like Taylor Hick's musical career. All I know is I have one thing going for me, and that is this: girls love their Daddy's more than their Mommy's in the long run. It's a fact! And I can live with that. So, laugh it up Mommy. While your name's being called every five seconds, I'm catching up on the Hockey play-offs... and biding my time until, once again, I'm the favorite (I hope). And the next time you go to pick-up our daughter at daycare, and she doesn't want to leave with you, it will serve you right.
It will serve you right!
Here's some more information on Mommyitis. I hope it helps when the time comes: