The first step is to penetrate the clouds of deceit and distortion and learn the truth about the world,
then to organize and act to change it. That's never been impossible and never been easy. ~Noam Chomsky

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Best Friends

If a blog post were to have a thesis sentence this one would be:
Ariam has two best friends and neither of them is me.

Her best friend and idol is J.
There is much irony in this. Throughout the years we wasted arguing over whether or not to have children, one of the central themes of J's arguement was that he believed the child and I would bond and leave him out of our special circle.

Now guess who has a special circle?

I'm not sure how to feel about this. We spend 2-3 weekdays together (and weekends) which means that she's with me far more than him. Yet she asks about "daddy??" no less than once every five minutes. She points at where his jacket should be. She begs to talk to him on the phone. When I reach for her after her naptime she asks "daddy??" with hopeful expectancy. When he gets home the mutual joy is adorable. And...irksome.

Yeah. I'm a little jealous. Yesterday Ariam had a fever. I picked her up early from daycare, brought her home to cuddle with some apple juice on the couch, was the receptacle for her vomit-fest, and babied her for hours. Daddy was the only one she wanted all evening. She actually had a melting screaming tantrum when he handed her to me.

I'm not sure what to make of this. I thought our bond was supposed to grow? Theirs has by leaps and bounds. Sometimes when J and I discuss this Ariam reaches out for me (from the safety of his arms) to pat me on the shoulder and give me a "man, that's tough kiddo" look.

Her other best friend?
The white baby doll. She received two wonderful brown babies for Christmas. When the white baby with the hard plastic legs arrived the other dolls were promptly rejected. New white baby has to be with her at all times. Last night Ariam was sleeping with us with hard plastic baby in her arms. I'm pretty sure plastic baby poked her in the eye with a rock hard plastic finger. Ariam woke up screaming and promptly rolled over and smacked me in anger. Apparently white plastic baby's unruly behavior in bed is my fault.


I know that all kids go through stages. I don't really think that she is unattached to me. I just think she is in month 8 of her preference for J and there is no end in sight...


  1. Don't worry, Mama. So much of child-rearing is discovering that our babies are unique people with preferences and personalities carved deep in their hearts. Some are a product of the way their are raised and some are put there before they ever see the light of day.

    It is so easy to be insecure about her attachments, worry that something was missed. Fear that you and she won't bond as strongly as she and her daddy.

    Please don't worry.

    Corban is the same way. Corban has two best friends and neither of them is me.

    First, he loves my mother more than any other person on this earth. He askes for her and tries to call her every day. He has even put his coat on and demanded, "Outside! Car! Gramma house!" When she comes to visit he screams and panics when she leaves.

    His other BFF is his daddy. He cries every morning when Nathan leaves for work. He asks for daddy. On weekends, when Nathan watches him and I catch up on my sleep, he usually sees me come down the stairs and runs to his daddy and says "NO!" when he sees me. Nice way to wake up, huh?

    I am learning early that a mother's love and sacrafice will go unappreciated for a time. But, because I gave birth to Corban, I am confident that he is attached. He just loves and misses his daddy during the day.

    So, I know it is easy to be insecure about this, but please don't. Just keep doing all the things that you know are best for A, and that are creating bonding moments, she loves you.

    There is nothing you can do about her love for her daddy or her White Baby Doll.

  2. :)
    This mama can COMPLETELY relate!! on both counts!
    As a pediatrician who sees thousands of families....I can tell you that this "daddy-preference" thing seems to be the norm, not the exception!! :)
    Also....the hard-cold-plastic-white-baby is the preferred baby for both my Guatemalan and Ethiopian kiddos. A fact that became even more intriguing to me when I recently stumbled across a picture of ME at 3 to 4 years old ...with a little brown baby in my arms!! hmmmmm.

  3. Oh boy do I relate to this! The daddy thing rather than the dolly thing - they aren't that interested in dolls yet. Maybe I need to get a hard plastic one :)

  4. I also can relate! I have 4 kids and only 1 would pick me over dad!
    I think it is because they get to be with me more.
    But 1 still loves her mommy best!
    I guess you will just have to have a couple more to get a mommies girl/boy!

  5. Holli - yes, well, that was my thought too! I'm working on Jeremy. I think he feels pity for me so it may not be too hard to convince him. Ariam on the other hand freaks out if either of us even looks at or touches someone else's baby. She's lobbying hard for only child status I guess.

  6. Everthing you mentioned: daddy's girl, love for unexpected toy (at least it's the doll and not the box where it came), being jealous when you hold another baby
    SO normal!! Don't worry. Pablo and Camilo completely ignore me when Henry arrives home! I just relax and enjoy time for myself. Ariam knows you are always there for her.
    And don't give up to the dream of a number 2. Today Ariam might be jealous but will love a sibling.

  7. LOL!!! "I'm pretty sure plastic baby poked her in the eye with a rock hard plastic finger. Ariam woke up screaming and promptly rolled over and smacked me in anger. Apparently white plastic baby's unruly behavior in bed is my fault." Girlfriend, that might be the funniest thing I have read in a LONG time!!!

    On a more serious note, you are an awesome mommy. And she knows it. She loves you. Kids always seem to pick a "fave" and the other parent has hurt feelings, so it's tough either's even tough being the "favorite" b/c then you feel guilty and sad for your spouse. I'm glad you have found some humor in it. But seriously, you girls are tight. And her being a daddy's girl means that she will be even pickier about the boys she picks later in life...and that will definitely work in your favor. Hugs!


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