Friday, July 8, 2011

'NO, Mama Do It' or Illogical Toddler Breaks Papa's Heart

toddler parent preferences

Lately, things have been a little glum for papa at the BabbyFamily domicile. Like nearly all toddlers (and little kids, too) the Babby has been expressing parent preferences when it comes to WHO will do things like unbuckling the car seat straps and fetching milk and taking her dinner plate away from the table.

Who has been her go-to guy for all these high profile tasks? Moi.

That's right, lovelies. When it comes to things like peeling a banana or putting a yogurt-slimed spoon into the sink or even sometimes changing a diaper, I am apparently hot stuff. But don't envy my popularity with the toddler set too hard, because the no doubt unintended consequence of all this bizarrely chore-oriented mama love is that the papa has been feeling kind of left out.

And I, being the big dummy that I am, haven't been as sensitive as I ought to be about his hurt feelings. Mainly because I have so many younger siblings who have all given me the toddler cold shoulder at one time or another. Maybe it hurt my feelings then, but I don't remember. They were brothers and sisters, too, not my children, so my response was probably just to sit on them. Boy, did dad hate that.

Anyway, point being, thus far I have been immune to infant and toddler slights, and I know that someday things could get much worse with a teenage Babby telling me in no uncertain terms just how much she hates me and, in that moment, meaning every word.

Which is fine. As long as she doesn't try to run me over with the car like SOMEONE I KNOW did when HE was a teenager.

But even though I am an unfeeling robot mama, the BabbyDaddy has been quite sad about the Babby not wanting him to participate in many of the maintenance tasks that keep her safe, alive, fed, and clean. He's taken it as a sign that she doesn't necessarily trust him to do these things. I don't entirely agree that it is a trust issue, but that's how he feels and I respect that it's bumming him out.

The good news, however, is that on Thursday morning, yours truly went to answer the call for "cold millllllllk" and the Babby's reaction to MY trying to help was to get visibly anxious and shout "NO, I want papa to do it!" Which actually doesn't offend me in the least, because it meant I wasn't on the hook for selecting the right cup or pouring milk while a tiny, whiny human being is trying to climb up my body and all I really want to do was drink my coffee and stare into space. Papa do it? You got it, kid!


  1. It's not that I think she doesn't trust me to do stuff. It's more that my time with her is so limited that it's hard to be pushed away (sometimes physically, sometimes verbally... the first thing she says when I get home from work now is "Go away.") when I do have time.

    The best I can really do is respect her wishes when it makes sense and let her deal with it when it doesn't. It's just a thing.

  2. Fear not, Babby Daddy, the wheel of favoritism goes around and around. Your day will come and mommy will be second choice. And then you, and then her...

    Visiting from SITS.

  3. When my son was little and I would visit (remember, he lives with my folks), it was sometimes hard to try to jam a week's worth of connection into one or two days. And it hurt a LOT when he'd ask for Mommy and go running to my mother - even though he basically chose those terms himself.

    But it was all made up the one time he was looking at me and said he wanted Mommy to do something. I even asked which Mommy he wanted, me-Mommy or Big-Mommy, and he said me.

    Sometimes it's not about trust, it's about what's familiar. It's hard to predict what a kid needs on a routine basis, especially since it changes so rapidly. Hang in there, Babby Daddy - the time will come when Babby is ALL ABOUT the Daddy.

  4. My 3 year old says, "no! mama try!" when he wants me to do something. It can be a pain when he won't let other people do stuff for him!

  5. There was definitely a period of time when Micah would come home from work and be greated with screams of "Mama pick up! No Dada!" It was really rather discouraging but LJ eventually stopped (thankfully!)

  6. You are not an unfeeling robot mama! This post disproves that.
    toddlers are fickle creatures, so take heart Babby Daddy :-)

  7. ahhh, that's just how they keep us on our toes...fear not...she'll switch faves a few times

  8. Take all the "Mama" love now - cause when she packs up that mama love tent and moves it to daddy's camp - it's a tough move! My boys start moving their mama-love over to dad about 11. Kind of breaks my heart - but he deserves his moment in the love shine!


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