For a while now, Daniel has been extremely mommy-centric. We’ve been through phases where he wanted only me to feed him, play with him, read to him and put him to bed. More recently, he went through a phase in which he would tell Jimmy to go away, not greet him when he came home and refuse to hug him. That phase sucked royally because it was painful watching your three-year-old expertly wound his father with an innate comprehension of manipulation that was stunning to see in action. We kept telling each other that he’s only 3 and doesn’t really know what he’s saying. Privately, I think the CIA should put 3-year-olds on the payroll as master torturers.
As for me, being loved so completely has been both marvelous and hellish. I now know what it’s like to be the absolute center of someone’s world. Their sunshine. It is humbling. It is suffocating. Granted, that someone is a 3 ft tall despot who is ruled by his id right now.
Recently, though, there have been major improvements in Daniel’s behavior towards Jimmy. He greets him enthusiastically and runs into his arms, shrieking “Daddy!” He seldom tells him to go away or is at least open to a conversation about why that hurts Daddy’s feelings. Daniel even informed me last week that I am not his best friend but daddy is. Of course, his best friends also include his trains, stuffed animals and our cats, so I took it with a grain of salt 😉 Daniel even requests Jimmy read him certain books at story time and mommy reading them will absolutely not do.
The biggest change and best part comes during bedtime. Daniel has become very curious about his world lately, especially things that make him nervous. At first, he would pepper Jimmy with questions, and we wondered whether it was an attempt to stall bedtime. This week, though, he has started to request that daddy stay and talk to him, and it has become something both of my men look forward to and enjoy.
I tiptoe out of the room and leave the two of them to chat, listening over the monitor. They talk about how certain items function. They talk about the day. Jimmy reassures Daniel about anything that is scaring him and answers his questions. Tonight I heard them discuss why Daniel shouldn’t splash quite so much in the bathtub as well as Christmas and Santa Claus. Their talks are adorable, and I’m usually stifling giggles at what I hear.
It’s male bonding in its infancy, and I love it. We love it. After their chat is finished, Jimmy kisses Daniel and tells him goodnight. Daniel, fears assuaged for now, questions answered, and world put right, falls asleep almost immediately.
Sweet dreams, little one. We look forward to tomorrow night’s bedtime chat.