I count myself lucky that JD asks about his dad, but doesn’t cry or beg for him. He cries and begs for me. This is because he doesn’t know his Dad, I don’t bring him up and I provide a loving, safe modern family lifestyle. But this weekend at T-Ball I saw a fellow Mom struggling with a non-cooperating little boy and felt her pain.
“I want Daddy!” he said, throwing his glove on the grass. It was damp and misting.
“Get on the field,” the Mom said.
“I want my Daddy,” he said, this time with tears streaming down his face. He buried his head into his Mother's slouchy sweatshirt and she nudged him away.
“Do you pull this when your Dad is here? Go.Play.Ball!” she said in an annoyed tone. Again, I get easily annoyed and just wanted to hug it out with her.
The little boy ran into the dugout and plopped down on the bench. “No, I want Daddy!” Mom did the eyeroll. Been there too, Mama!
I couldn’t make out if the Mom was wearing a wedding band and just on T-Ball duty, since it’s mostly Dads who help out on the field. But, I felt horrible for her. The little boy was associating T-Ball with Dad and for whatever reason Dad couldn’t make it. JD is really attached to me and he pretty much associates me with everything from cutting up his pancake in the morning, washing his hair at night and tucking him in and 16263642836183646 other things. In fact, last week my Dad attended T-Ball and JD was not thrilled that I wasn’t on the field. “Mommy come play with me,” he said. But, I wanted him to play with my Dad—all the other kids were playing with their Dads. JD is really close to my Dad, too. I understood where this Mom was coming from, she was trying so hard to coax him on the field and be a bada*s T-Ball mom (what I was executing as we practiced alligator catches). But that little boy wanted his Dad. Just like JD always wants his Mom.
It’s a good feeling, but it’s a feeling that makes you wonder if your child is too exposed to one side of things. This is why I didn’t move from the bleachers when my Dad was on the field last weekend. JD warmed up to him and it was all fun and games. The other Mom eventually prevailed too and her kid got on the field. My best advice: Just be boss. Throw down. Let your kid feel uncomfortable. The tears will come and go. Take them out of their comfort zone. Life is NOT comfortable. Sh*t doesn't always pan out. Get them used to it. I'm sure getting JD used to curveballs. Life is messy.
Who is your kid more attached to? Mom or Dad? Mom or Mom/Dad or Dad (talking to same sex couples here) Single parents, does your kid prefer you best or another close fam member. Share!
**NEWS: My (baby) book Rattled! (Broadway Books, 2009) launched on audible.com and iTunes today! It is narrated by actress and ***single mom, Emily Bauer. Just in time for Mother's Day, Rattled! is a product of my glamour.com blog Storked! (I began writing that when I was eight months pregnant and was contracted for 3 years thereafter.) Rattled! was named a 2009 Target Breakout Book and in-store Best-Seller. It was reviewed in the NYT on Father's Day 2009. Jack Domenic, the little guy I began writing about in July 2007 turns 5 on August 30. We're a happy, blessed family. Download Rattled! on Audible.com today!