The Working Mom, Post-Vacation, My Baby Doesn’t Love Me Blues

Boo, Mom, and some Cool Shoes

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    Boo, Working Mom, and some cool matching shoes

My wife and I are both back to work after a week at her folks’ place in Minnesota. Despite jet lag, a tardy painter that’s forcing us to live corralled in our bedroom, and the San Francisco fog, I’m as happy as a pig in — well, in whatever pigs are happy in. I’m urban. I don’t know that crap.

My wife, however, feels more like the pig that gets turned into sausage, hooves and all. (Do pigs have hooves? cf. My previous comment re: being urban.)

She came home today to a Boobaby who threw up an elbow to deflect her hugs, too caught up in her alphabet puzzle to be cuddled just then. Working Mom felt rejected and unloved, and it only worsened through the evening: Boo whined at her dinner, refused to stop her Slam the Door game, and generally lost the aspect of the cheerful cherub we’ve all come to love.

Obviously (to me, the at-home parent), Boobaby was just getting tired. She’d had an exciting morning with Buddy Boy and her afternoon nap was cut short (thank the painter for that one, too). She was sleepy, that’s all, not unloving.

Sadly, Boo’s usual sleepy-frantic yell is:

“Da da da da da da da da….”

I don’t know why. D’s are easier than M’s, maybe that’s it. But whatever Boo’s reason, having her visibly upset daughter call out for me makes Working Mom very sad.

I really wish my wife saw what I see: that all of Boobaby’s goofy toughness, her drive, her love of fart-related physical comedy — those all come from her mom. Boo’s still a little animal, not able to ignore her immediate discomfort to make a momentary emotional connection. That doesn’t mean that, deep down, the love isn’t there. Love is, even when the trappings are not.