Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Parenting Again: Bonding with Daddy

When I tell him that Daddy will be home soon, Peter runs to the front window, waiting and watching for his car. Then he runs out the door, down the steps and sidewalk, yelling "Daddy! Daddy! Daddy!" until he lands in his arms. It's one of those things I need to catch on video.

It's refreshing after all the time I spent worrying about the father-child bond. Peter has always been such a Mama's boy, particularly during his first 18 months of life, that I was constantly looking for ways to force-- uh "forge," the bond with his father. Our attempt at a daily "Daddy's bottle" was excrutiating for all three of us-- something we won't bother with next time around. Bathtime with Daddy has always helped me clean up after dinner but never stopped Peter from crying like a banshee if Tom tried to put him to bed instead of me.

Oh, he definitely preferred his dad to strangers, friends and babysitters. But still, he wasn't going to run to Daddy for a booboo if I were in the same room.

I imagine all mothers have this same concern that their spouse and child do not reject one another. I mean, who in the world do you love more than those two? And with Peter so attached to me, I sometimes worried that it came at the cost of attachments to others.

Silly me. Time and perspective, as always, change everything. Perhaps it was learning to love and receive love from me that taught Peter how to love and receive love from his Daddy (and Nana, Papa, Mimi, Grandpa, and various friends and all his cousins) as well as he does today. Peter's turning out to be quite the outgoing and affectionate child. Boy, you could've fooled me-- but I'll take it!

As for bonding with Daddy... It was such a gradual thing, it's hard to pinpoint when the transition began. I do know that Peter sometimes urges me to go out at night so he can have a date with Daddy to their favorite restaurant, which ends with Daddy putting him to bed by holding hands.

So the next time around, I'm just not going to sweat it. My husband is not an ogre, and as long as my infant learns how to love, he or she is going to love Daddy too. They will bond. Sooner, later, in their own time, and I'm not facilitator. I'll just sit back watch.

1 comment:

Kristen said...

I needed that post!! I have been struggling lately with David's attachement to me because he will not go to anybody else but me or his Daddy. With the twins coming I need him to bond with his Grandparents more & thought that *I* had hindered that bond in some way. It IS just a phase, just a phase, whew!