It started recently when it came to the bedtime routine. My OH and I do bath time together with Isla, and then we get her in her jammies. She has her milk either on mine or the OH's lap while chilling to Balamory and then it's upstairs to bed. I only get home from work at the point where the bath is being run, so Daddy spends a few more hours with Isla before I get home and so I look forward to putting my baby to bed. However she's so stuck on him by the time I get back that she won't be prised from him. The first time this happened, I said 'ok time for bed now' went to scoop her up to go upstairs and she went MENTAL!! So, OH picks her up and she looks all jubilant and puckers her lips, making kissing sounds at me and says 'Night, Night'! Clearly, that's my cue to give her a kiss and bugger off to go and make dinner.....while they continue their love-in. Since then it's happened a few more times, I go to pick her up, she goes berserk and I'm at a loss to change things.
On Saturday night, the OH was doing some late food shopping and so bedtime fell to me. There was a chance that he could come back in time to put her to bed and I really think she sensed this. Before we went upstairs, she said ‘Night, Night’ to everything! I mean everything, every toy, the TV, even the lights, it was like a stalling tactic, where she thought, maybe just maybe Daddy will come through the door and rescue me from the evil clutches of Mummy putting me to bed....Silly I know, and when I’m thinking rationally I know that her behaviour isn’t personal, but some days when I get home from work I really like the small amount of time we have to be special and like to give her bedtime cuddles. It has had me in tears on some days which I know is ridiculous.
It's not only bedtime, when she wakes in the morning, the first call out is 'Daddy, Daddy, Daddy, Daddy' eventually this tails off into 'Mummy, Mummy, Mummy'.....
However this weekend, for the first time in a while I was the preferred parent but it ended up putting an abrupt end to her swimming lesson. I wasn’t feeling up to going in the pool this Sunday and so we decided that she’d just go in with Daddy and not both of us as we’d done in previous weeks. This was a bit too much of a change for her and so 20 minutes into the lesson, and hearing her call out ‘Mummy, Mummy, Mummy’ and pointing at me and then trying to scale the pool side to get to me, she came out for Mummy cuddles. Although it was a bit of a shame that her lesson was cut short it was so nice to be wanted, even if the cuddles were soggy!
Both the bedtime and the pool scenarios demonstrate that little kids don’t like change and they only feel comfortable doing things the way they know them, so Isla prefers Daddy to do bedtime and Mummy to be in the pool. It's nothing personal and I just need to pull myself together!