P has officially passed onto to Dave. Children follow a natural process of detachment/attachment. First they are attached to mom, or the primary care giver, then move onto dad and then finally they move onto an outside family member or friend. The last transition doesn’t happen until the teen years and I expected to have a few more years of mama attachment but I’m already getting passed on. I know every healthy person goes through this but now that P is all about Dave, I must admit my feelings are hurt.
She wants Dave for everything from driving her to ballet to playing with Pet Shops. Then she wrote “dad” on a piece of paper for Dave. It’s her first purposefully written word. I’m so proud of her but her first spoken word was “dog” and now “dad” is the first thing she writes! What about mom? Then she came home from school with a project that was a heart and on a drawing of hers was a note “my heart feels happy when my daddy pushes me down the slide”. Again, nothing about me.
The final straw, and keep in mind all this happened the same week, was a trip to Ikea. I’ve never left P with at their kid care. I’ve established a routine with P that works for both of us when shopping. But on this last trip to Ikea P saw the kid’s play area/day care and bee-lined for it! “Mamma it’s so adorable! I want to go in!” I talked to her about how different it would be:
Me: “It’s not like school. There are kids of different ages and not everyone plays by the same rules like they do at school. Are you sure you still want to go?”
Me: “Ok. If you are not happy, if anyone makes you uncomfortable just tell them to get me and I’ll be right outside the door. Ok?”
She was off. She couldn’t wait to go in and didn’t even look back. She never looked out the windows for me. She honestly didn’t care. She was fine. I’m proud of her confidence and how self assured she is. I’m so proud of that but man getting dumped like a broken toy was so hard. I had to keep myself from literally crying in the middle of Ikea!
This parenting thing is a total mind fuck. Just when I get use to living my life with her 24/7 and I have a routine and I feel like she’s another limb on my body she is ready to leave me. Now, I need to readjust my thinking and start to get comfortable with some separation.
I do realize I need to watch what I say to friends. All this I express here has got to be kept here or in my head. I don’t want her to overhear me and feel guilty for how I’m feeling. It’s the right thing for her to be independent. I’ve spent the past 3 years reassuring her that I’m always there for her and now it’s paid off. She’s taking me for granted in a way and that is actually a good thing. She’s starting to stand up on her own.
(I had to entice her with ice cream to come back out!)