‘No mamaaaaaa, GaGa do it’
With the huge amount of time I have had to invest in work recently Sam has turned to totally favoring his Dad. ( BTW GaGa is Dad ;))
Like to the point that when I picked him up from kindy the other day, I was expecting his usual running leaping hug followed with his usual ‘I love you too much Mama’, but he saw me, stamped his foot said ‘Oh NO, your not GaGa, no Mama, oh no..’ and then burst into huge big fat tears threw himself in the cubby house and cried like world had ended.
I was soooo tired and sooo upset. I tried hard to fight the tears, no one wants to look like a looser in front of the teachers, and tried to give Sam a moment to pick himself up and come out. But – he didn’t.
In the end I had to carry him through the day-care, kicking and crying. Carrying him, his bag, multiple pairs of gumboots (he paused screaming long enough to make me pick them up) then forcing him into his car seat, both of us by that time wet with tears.
I wasn’t upset that he didn’t love me, I knew that was not true and it would pass, but that I knew this day was coming and perhaps had not been handling it well enough – head in the sand and all that. As well as feeling downright horrific that work had taken such a toll on our family.
You can google and chat until your heart is content in order to find out that a child favoring a parent is a normal occurrence, but it does not stop the pain in your heart to be rejected as a mother. I guess we all think we have until the school years to cuddle our babies before they reject us for not being cool at the school gate, so this can be pretty hard.
It was bizarre going though a range of emotions ( I am blaming being dog-tired rather than a crazy person though), hurt – obviously, then wanting to hide and say ‘fine then, see if I care’ like some teen brat who was sulking. Then came grumpy mama with no patience. Next was overly nice helpful, playful mama who wanted to get back in the good books. Who knew I had so many persona all in one day!
Pretty sure it’s about their emotional state, one of the age/stage levels in the books I have been half reading for a while now.. Maybe he’s becoming more independent and ready to see if they can cope with shifting allegiances and the effects that then creates. Its kind of like they are so very full of feelings and this must be pretty overwhelming for them. Choosing a parent shouts of them trying to take control of a situation and dealing with the challenge by separating the feelings into something they can handle, a focus point.
They see the dynamics and watch you deal with it. That is pretty hard in itself to model the right behavior when you don’t have any idea what is going on.
We started trying to make that behaviour into something specific for Sam. Special Daddy Time. So in me asking him if he wanted SDT, it was beginning to give him words to use to be able to handle the emotions. Not excusing rude behaviour but hopefully that will stop when he could articulate what he wanted. It also gave an end point, so that the special time would be fully Sam’s to control but that it was only for 20 minutes then he had to be calm and move on. Then the next time he had a mental at me I could ask him if he wanted SDT and he could breathe knowing that I would help him get that When as soon as I could.
Well that kind of worked. Then he just got stroppy and it started again. Taking time to watch their relationship, you can see the differences – Dad is rough, play fights and makes good fart noises, whereas I tend to teach while I play and discuss things, or put music to dance around to. This was great when he was little, but now my wee munchkin has become this… BIG KID!! like literally overnight! and that means I had BECOME SO BORING! So I went for it.. saw him intent on something, went up yelled boo in his ear and ran away! We played like this, exhaustingly, for AGES. Then the next day I suggested we look for bugs. GREAT idea mama!
Not gonna lie, there were some rough moments. The ‘I don’t have time for this Sam’ moments. A week of attitude that seemed to go on for months. Nothing worse than your kid rejecting you when you have leave for work. Makes for a damn long drive.
Well, we came out the other side and Sam has been intent on his Sammitch hugs again (Sam Sandwich – where we pick him up squish him between us and talk about being a family), and wants us both around to show us his latest idea. I just have to remember to balance out and let myself play the fool more often.
Today he even handed me his favorite crocodile toy and said ‘Your
turn Mama’. It was the loveliest moment. I know it will happen again, and that we will need a new strategy that time no doubt!
Just another cog in the wheel of growing up and proof that you need to go with your gut and just try what feels right for your family.
Love to hear if you have been in this place too and how you dealt with it! Leave me a comment ( the button is at the top of the post ) or on my insta post, the more we share, the more we all feel normal!