My almost 22-month-old daughter is showing a decided preference for Mommy, Mommy, Mommy all the time, much to Daddy’s chagrin. In fact, I think Daddy is feeling downright fed up with all the clinginess to Mommy that she exhibits. When he tries to feed her, she says, “No, Mommy do it.” When he tries to change her, she says, “No, Mommy do it.” When he tries to put her to sleep, she says, “No, I want Mommy!”
So in addition to wanting to nurse all the time and being incredibly clingy, she is clingy only to me. In the morning, she won’t even let me go to the bathroom. I will say, “Mommy has to go pee, okay? Mommy will be right back.” She will say, “No!! I want Mommy! I want to nurse.” I say, “You can nurse when Mommy comes back.” She will flop over on top of me and press her cheek down on mine in an effort to prevent me from getting up and wail, “Nooooo, Mommy stay here.” When I wrestle her off of me and get up, she points to the bed and pouts, “Lay down! Lay down!” Then as I stumble off to the bathroom, she cries and cries and cries, and no matter what her Daddy says or does, she is inconsolable.
I have done a lot of reading online, and I know that it is somewhat natural for children to express a preference for one parent over another (especially the one they perceive to be the primary “comfort-giver.” But still, it’s no less frustrating for my poor hubby, who loves his little girl so much. I was on a BabyCenter forum about this topic, and one good suggestion I came across was to have Daddy spend more quality time with the toddler, especially one-on-one. Another good suggestion was to just stop asking her if something is okay. Instead of, “Is it okay if Daddy changes your diaper,” we can just ask, “Daddy’s going to change your diaper now.” So as of today, I’ve whipped out this technique on her and said, “Daddy’s taking you swimming at 3 o’clock. You will have so much fun!” She said, “Okay!” And now, the two of them are off and hopefully having a fantastic time (usually, the three of us go together, but I thought this would be a good Daddy-daughter-bonding experiment.
It’s definitely a much-needed break for this Mommy, who has been neglecting her blog, the housework, and the laundry (among many other things) during this recent spate of Mommy-has-to-do-everything. I just know that my hubby cannot wait for the day when our little Apple wakes up and decides she’s “Daddy’s Girl.” And I have to admit, neither can I (thought I might not like it too much if the pendulum swung the other way for too long!).