I love you mumma but not as much as I love dadda. The first time I heard this my heart broke a little bit. I swallowed my pride and hurt feelings and told Squidge that was OK. I told her I loved her no matter what and that it was OK to love some people more.
Then she said it again...
Little by little I began to become resentful. When I wake up early to wake her up, help her get dressed, brush her hair and her teeth and she gives me a load of grief a little part of me became angry. Of course she loves her dad more - he bops in and does all the fun stuff. I'm the one constantly haranguing her to get dressed. Stop reading that book for five minutes and eat your breakfast. Brush your teeth. Pick up your clothes. Tidy your playroom. Practice your piano.
Things came to an ugly messy head this morning when I needed to be at the dentist at 9am and Squidge needed to be somewhere at 9:30. We needed to be out of the house by 8:45 to accomplish this. She dawdled getting dressed. Disappeared when I called her to brush her teeth. Chose to read a book instead of putting on her shoes. I was stressed. I still needed to get MYSELF dressed and it was 8:30 already. Dad was trying to help but he wasn't much. I shouted. I threatened. I got fed up.
Why was I stressing. I was just going to cancel my appointment and she and her favourite could sort themselves out. I called the dentist- no answer. I was their first appointment and no one was in yet. I told Dad I wasn't going and he (and she) could just f**k off. We shouted.
He picked me up and put me by the front door saying I was going and that was that and he wasn't going to live with me being miserable over my teeth and I was NOT going to cancel my appointment. I shouted back I didn't have time to get myself ready and her and I was going to be late.... well it was ugly. Lots of shouting and for people who generally get along and don't really shout at each other in anger it was tough.
In the end I went to the dentist... late. She made it to her thing... early.
I resent that I moved thousands of miles from my family only to be a second class citizen in my own little family. I resent that I gave up work to focus on her only to end up being second. I resent that I chauffeur her around to ballet, singing, gymnastics, swimming, piano, play dates... you name it I'm the go to person. I resent I do all these things for her and she loves me less.
So yes, I've been snippy today. She'll ask me something and I tell her to ask her dad... he's her favourite after all. She runs off crying. I feel like shit. She asks if she can stay up to read. I tell her to ask her dad... he's her favourite. She cries and tells me that she loves me too! I feel like shit because WTF am I playing at? She's only SIX and I'm much much older than her. I'm her mother and I should be able to be bigger than this. I KNOW that she loves me. I KNOW why she prefers her dad. I KNOW all these things in my head but today I think I heard it one too many times and my heart isn't letting my head have a say.
She's in bed right now reading... with dad. I'm hoping that tomorrow will be another day... a fresh start. I'm hoping that tomorrow I'll pull up my big girl undies and get over myself. She loves me as much as she does and that should be enough for me...
Lindy is a transplanted New Englander living in Manchester. She misses scorching hot summers and having a Dunkin' Donuts at every corner.
Blogs at: Squidgyboo