Hit Mommy where it hurts, why don't you?
Yes, it hurts a bit whenever your child shows a preference for the other parent, but I have to admit there's a grain of truth in Big H's ownership proclamation.
When Little H was born, T and I had a divide and conquer approach to parenting. T was usually the point man for Hollis and I, the nursing cow, had Holden attached to me 24/7. I guess a little of that is expected when a new baby comes along. But still, I made special time for Hollis and took him to swimming lessons and even left Holden with our sitter a few times so I could have some Hollis-Mommy bonding time. And I've continued to try to spend time alone with each of my boys when I can.
Hollis, while introverted and reserved like me, has had an aloof and independent air about him since he reached toddlerhood. He's never really seemed to constantly need me the way
I'd forgotten the rule that No Two Siblings Shall Ever Be Alike.
Holden's little personality is still starting to emerge, but already he is about as different from Hollis as he can be. He's about as different from me and T as he can be.
He's outgoing. He's fearless. He's stubborn. (OK, maybe I am a bit stubborn too.) Nonetheless, Holden is not going to be a Follower of Rules like Mommy, T, and Hollis.
But he needs me. He clings to me. If I walk into a room, he wants to be held by me. He wants me to be actively involved in his play. He wants me to chase him, to show him how things work, and to be by his side. All of this in a way Hollis has never demanded.
Writing this down, I'm starting to realize the error of my ways. Hollis, because of his personality, will never demand anything of me in quite the way Holden will. I, of a similar personality, should know this. But when I hear "go away, Mommy" or "I do it, Mommy" from Hollis and "Up, Mommy," or "epp me" (help me in Holden-speak) from Holden, I give what is asked without question.
This isn't to say that I don't spend time with Hollis or that I don't snuggle Hollis or read to him or love him as much as Holden. Ah, I don't know where I'm going with all of this angst. The end result is that I like being needed by Holden. Perhaps at times I find it cloying, but for the most part I adore it.
T and I are making more of an effort to mix it up. A few weeks ago I took Hollis to the beach while Holden helped Daddy around the house. Every few nights we'll switch who does the evening routine for each child. And when Hollis makes a comment about how I belong to "Brother" I spend a few extra minutes chasing him around and tickling him after bath time.
Because I love Hollis, that sometimes sweet and sometimes solemn little boy of mine. He's so much like me.
Then last night, T and I were engaged in some horizontal parenting from the couch while the kidlets played before bed. Hollis crawled up on me and joined in the snuggle. He put his little head on my chest and said "You're my Mommy."
That's right, kiddo. I'm your Mommy.
Don't forget, Julie should have her Hump Day Hmmm list up tomorrow. This week she asked us to tackle our feelings upon waking from a 20 year coma like that poor guy in Poland last week. This is a really intriguing topic, but I just can't tackle this one. I tried and my attempt was just too horrible to post. And I have low standards. So, I apologize for not participating in this one, Julie. But I look forward to the next.