PARENTS

The Newborn Diaries: Daddy Dearest

26/08/2011 18:04 | Updated 22 May 2015

Baby D is obsessed by her father these days. And I am beginning to understand what is meant by that impenetrable father-daughter bond.

D's hero worship of him has reached ridiculous levels: if Daddy puts her into my arms and walks away, she will sob hysterically. Even though she's being cuddled by her mother.

To add further insult to this blatant rejection, D now calls her father "mama" as well as calling me that (although this is rather offensive to both of us, I think).

Do I sound bitter? I probably should be, heartbroken even, considering that I am the nappy slave, the 24/7 maid and the comedienne/singer/dancing clown/champion crawler for my daughter whenever required, but I am not her favourite parent.

I am the hideous beast who takes her to get jabs and cooks Annabel Karmel-approved baby foods for her, yet I am usurped by the guy who walks in and waves to her every evening. Yes, life is deeply unfair.

I'm convinced D's daddy obsession is a matter of circumstance and doesn't necessarily mean that this man (who still doesn't know where her babygros live) has captured first place in the parenting race for good. One theory? Daddy's been away a lot the past few weeks, on business trips, stag dos and his annual cricket tour, so he's been scarce. As he becomes an even hotter commodity, I become part of the furniture.

Also, poor D had a terrible case of tonsillitis the other week. (NB: Sometimes when your baby is snotty, rubbing her ears and refusing solids, it's not always teething, which I initially suspected until Diana lost her voice). Treatment involved administering penicillin four times a day (plus baby Nurofen three times a day for the first two days). I was meant to shove the substances down baby D's throat with a plastic syringe and was even advised to block up her nose by the nurse as a way of getting her to take the stuff.

It was complete torture for both of us and definitely ensured that mummy dropped several points on the favouritism scale as D would look at me like I'd committed the ultimate betrayal every single time.

Thankfully, D's back to normal now and my miserable days as a drug-squirter are over for the time-being. And I feel confident that D is completely aware of how fabulous and amazing her mother is. Most of the time.

Plus, D's daddy love fest has its perks. Daddy likes to be worshipped, so in turn has become even more enamoured of his baby girl than ever before (which I didn't even know was possible!) So he's busy planning daddy-daughter dates where he says he'll take D to the best restaurants in London.

I think this is meant to be a slight to me, since I don't get taken to these alleged places, but he had me at "daddy-daughter date." Sounds like a spa day for mummy.

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