Birthday Present From Hell

It’s Working Mom’s birthday today. Yay, WM!

Her present from Boo has been a few moments of seeming to prefer me to her:

  • WM came along to our last Music Together class of the spring and despite all my best efforts to share the love, Boobaby insisted on dancing, lap-sitting, and musicking with me, not her mom.
  • Last night when she was with WM, Boo touched something hot (nothing serious, just a little pain and surprise) — and called for “dah-dah.”
  • And finally, Boo cried for me when WM was trying to put her to sleep.

I maintain that all these moments have been completely circumstantial:

  • Boo’s been going to music class with me for a year — of course she’s more used to playing with me!
  • When she hurt her finger, she wanted comfort of any sort — when WM got her Boo-Boo Bunny, she calmed down without my help.
  • When I tried to put her to sleep, I had no more luck than WM. It turns out that Boo was just having one of her freakishly hungry days. After WM fed her an entire bowl of oatmeal, Cheerios, and yogurt, she finally went down happily for basically the whole night.
Elmo and Dad

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    Baby Elmo and his Stay-At-Home Dad

The piece de resistance came this morning: taking the morning off, Working Mom unearthed a Web video that seems to imply that Elmo (Boo’s favorite!) had a stay-at-home dad when he was a baby. Sigh.

An aside: there’s a lot of odd back story in the Sesame Beginnings videos: Did you know that Big Bird is native Hawaiian? And that Cookie Monster’s floating eye is hereditary?

Boo does really appear to prefer me over my wife sometimes. I try to imagine what it would feel like were I the working parent — a circumstance most working fathers with stay-at-home-mom wives probably face.

Would I be frustrated that my baby sought out my wife instead of me?

Damn straight. It would suck beyond suckiness.

I hope, though, that in this bizarro “Working Doodaddy” world, I would understand that when Boobaby occasionally expresses a preference for “Stay-at-Home Working Mom,” she’s just acting out the “familiarity” phase. Boobaby grasps at what she’s used to — but preferring the at-home parent for certain activities has nothing to do with the strength of her bond with and love for the working parent.

I think my wife sees that — she certainly had a wonderful morning with Boo.

But caught in those “Dah-Dah” moments, with a baby plastered to my legs, how do I convince my wife that, despite my momentary popularity, Boo loves her and will love her — needs her and will need her — every bit as much as me?