|I am including an adorable picture, because let's be honest - this post needs something happy in it.|
Grey was sitting up in his bed, so I tiptoed to him.
"Shhh!" I said, rubbing his back. "Lie down, it's okay, I'm -"
And then he smacked me in the face. As hard as his little body could.
"NOT YOU! Go away, Mom! DAD! DAD! DAAAAADDY!"
Soon Micah was awake, also screaming for his Daddy. They attacked me, attacked each other, were both screaming and screaming and sobbing. They began tearing through the house, toppling chairs, throwing anything they could get their hands on. Purposefully emptying milk on to the floor. All while screaming and sobbing for their dad.
I did not beat them. So. Congratulations to me.
They have a favorite parent. And that is no joke. It's frustrating. It makes me angry. But mostly, it hurts my feelings.
When Travis is home, I am nothing.
I can't get them out of their carseats. (NO! Daddy do it!) I can't hold their hands crossing the street. (NO! Daddy do it!) I can't cut up their dinner, kiss their owies, read them stories. (Daddy do it!)
You might think this is liberating, but really it's just ... I don't know. The worst.
When Travis is not home, the boys like me. Micah will pass me, and casually lean over to give me a kiss. "Love you, mom!" he'll say.
Grey will request that I hold him or his hand. He'll ask for extra kisses on his owies. We play and laugh and sing all day, and we're happy and love each other.
Unless they decide they want their dad.
Unless they're surprised by his absence, like they were yesterday. They expected Daddy, they got Mom. And that's the worst possible thing they could imagine.
I've heard that this is a phase that all little boys go through: wanting Daddy over Mom.
But the boys have preferred Travis to me since they were 6 months old. If this is a phase, it's been going on for 4/5s of their life.
Almost every day for the last year and a half (that's a LONG time, people!) they have cried when Travis left for work.
I mean, for a half hour or more. Every morning.
That's how we start our day: with tears that Daddy has to leave for work.
Throughout the entire day, every time they hear the sound of a car outside, they look up and gasp. "Daddy's home!" They run to the window.
Daddy is not home. Sorry, boys.
When Travis travels for weeks at a time, it gets so bad. They don't even want to look at me.
It's not so bad if we go stay with my parents.
My friends and family are constantly teasing me about going to stay with my mom every time Travis leaves, "When will you be able to take care of yourself?" they ask.
We're not going to my parents' so they can take care of me. We're going so my kids can be distracted by Travis' absence. So they can have a grandpa to temporarily replace their missing Dad. So they have new things to do and see and play with, so hypothetically they care less that their only parent is me.
Sigh. Yesterday was a rough day. I wish Travis were home now.
Also, Travis: Don't feel guilty when you read this post. Stop feeling guilty. You can't help it that you are the most fun and beloved parent, nor can you help traveling. I don't blame you. I just wish our kids loved me slightly more.