No Dads Please, We’re Toddlers

Posted on 23 January 2014 by stewart

Do you ever get the feeling you’re not wanted? Like, REALLY not wanted? Or if you are wanted, it’s because you’re the only option? If you answered ‘yes’ to either of those, then welcome to the club.

I mentioned in my ‘Shiftwork Sucks‘ post that my wife does a lot of nightshifts. When she’s working one of those, it’s just Little M and I, and that’s fine. We get on like a house on fire. We play, we cuddle up in front of the TV, we read books, we tell stories. It’s almost like we’re father and daughter. HOWEVER, when Little J isn’t working or happens to be working a dayshift, that all changes. I suddenly go from being the go-to-guy to the go-away-guy. Little M just isn’t interested in me. I tell myself that it’s because she misses her mum and she’s making the most of their time together because she’s beginning to realise that some nights mummy isn’t around, and that’s probably all it is, but it sure makes you feel like crap.

Recently, bedtime has become a bit of a battle. When I say battle, I mean it’s as LOUD AS WAR. The main casualties seem to be her throat and my ears from all the screaming. Not when it’s just the two of us, but when Little J is home. Little J has to be the one to put her to bed, to read her a story, to sing her a song. If I even attempt to put her to bed the crying starts and the full on screaming starts to ramp up. I’ve never heard anything like it. Glass is shattering. Dogs are covering their ears. The only way to stop this crazy turned-up-to-11 temper tantrum? Call on Little J to rescue me.

If Little M even suspects that mummy is home, she’s in and out of bed like a cuckoo from it’s clock. I mentioned this on Facebook the other day and it appears that I’m not alone. Some of my friends have commented that their kids will favour one parent over the other and experience major screaming matches.

Does this happen to you? How do you deal with it? Have you managed to overcome it? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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