Saturday, November 25, 2006

After almost 6 months of tooth-cutting freedom, Jackson is back at it with a vengeance. He is getting four molars - two on each side, top and bottom. He is miserable. The cranky-o-meter is almost off the charts. His sleep is disturbed which does not help the crankys much at all.

David is at his limit. When he is home, he is Jackson's primary belonging. Daddy can't go to the bathroom without a little boy crying outside the door. So these last few days have been rough on him. Me too. He says he needs a break, but I can't give him a break. Jackson cannot be comforted or consoled by anyone else as long as David is in the house. Tomorrow, I may take the boy to my Mom's house to give Daddy some alone time. And frankly, Jackson is easier to take care of when David isn't around. He can play independently and eat calmly and generally be laid back in a way that is not possible when he can see his Daddy. He attaches himself to his Dad's leg when he walks and cries to be carried and held. He wants to sit on Dad's lap while he plays on the computer, which makes it impossible to actually play on the computer. At Thanksgiving dinner, which David had to eat while holding the boy, David's folks remarked how we need to somehow stop this behavior, let him cry so he learns he can't always be in Daddy's arms.

Of course, if you think about it, this is probably not anything many, if not most, other children do. Except it is usually Mom, not Dad, that is the baby's sole possession. We would probably not even be having this discussion with the in-laws if it were me he were so attached to. If the boy was cutting 4 molars at once and was so crabby and uncomfortable that he couldn't stand to be out of his mother's arms, would anyone say for me to let him cry? Would anyone think that me having to eat my meal with a baby on my lap was a hardship? Or would it simply be what is expected of a mom and go unremarked?

I must say, though, that it is a little sad for me that my son prefers his Dad. (Here it knew it was coming...) I do everything for that child. All of his day to day care, food, diapers, clothing, general well-being - these are things that I provide him. And he is perfectly lovely and contented with the quality of my mothering. Until his Dad comes home from work. David, tossed him around and runs through the house with him, becoming the boy's personal rollercoaster and all of the sudden I am chopped liver. Man. That is a sob story. I am going to have to save this blog for him to read when he's grown up. I could tell him something like, "You didn't appreciate the way I slaved for you when you were 16 months old. Perhaps if you bought me a diamond necklace from your hefty salary as a highly-respected ___(blank)___, I would forgive you."

I actually am happy that my son and my husband are so well-bonded. And as much as David gets worn out on the weekends from Jackson's constant need of him, I think he will be sorry when the day comes that he is not the almighty-worshipped Daddy, bringer of all things fun. People say that parental preference shifts many times in a child's life, and at some point, Mommy will be the favorite. If that happens, then I am sure both David and I will remember this stage with fondness and longing. Except for the cutting four molars at once part.

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