When toddler favours one parent

It was about seven in the evening and the light from outside the window had already faded into a deep sunset, sending rays of golden light through the crack in the curtain. I hurried to hide the ending sun, replacing it instead with the dull light from the lamp that sat on Master X’s bedside unit. We had just moved this unit into his room after updating our lounge area, thinking that the lower style of the wooden furniture would fit his toddler bed that lay on the bare carpet. There was an array of book sprawled across the bed thoughtlessly selected but carefully arranged to draw Mr 18 month’s attention when he entered the room.

This morning’s accident from co-sleeping with our toddler

I left the room and rejoined Mr A and Master X as they sat on the soft beige lounge, laughing about some private joke that I would not understand as the language was in the moment. This is often the way that things are now with Master X, his verbal skills developing through sounds more than formed words with an intense fascination and apparent talent for animal noises. This week at child care he learnt the trumpeting noise of the elephant and he blares it out while waving his arm as if it were the grey long snout, swaying and sweeping the air in a triumphant gesture.

Being a toddler must be a difficult feat what with all the competing interests and steep learning curves. Master X has his kisses down pat though, and we have a routine where I can say ‘I love you’ or ‘can mummy have a kiss?’ and he will pucker up his lips tight and say ‘mmmmmm’ whilst leaning in close, ending the act with a delightfully loud ‘mwah!’ as our lips meet. He ends the routine by moving his head back and opening his mouth wide, like the stereotypical image of Italians after they move their hand away to say ‘Bellissimo’.

I announced that it was bedtime, having decided that I was also going to go to sleep when Master X retires due to a sore pregnant belly and tired eyes from being at the conference again all day today. I held my hand out and Master X pulled it gently to help me move forward, only to drop it to lean in for a kiss. “Sweet boy’ I thought to myself as I smiled. He then turned to Mr A who was still on the couch because he was expecting a quiet night while I put our toddler to bed. Master X reached his hand to join Mr A’s hand and then gently tugged hi up from the couch to stand and began to lead him through the living area and towards the bedroom hall, turning to wave at me as he led dad to the hallway.

I was crushed. It was my turn to put him to bed. I wanted the cuddles and the sleep.

Master X has been choosing my husband for everything of late. The toddler looses his cool every time that he is left alone with me, which is difficult as I care for him at least one day and one night out of the week. Mr A has more time with him though as I do travel a lot for work, thereby creating a deeper more reliable bond with the little toddler. But it doesn’t stop the action of my son choosing my husband over me for times such as going to bed. Tonight was made even more difficult as Master X screamed when I tried to bathe him. I was supposed to be going out for a work function but felt so disheartened by his reaction at even taking a bath with me that I changed my mind to stay home for family dinner. This is one of the pitfalls of having my family when I work, being easily persuaded to choose to stay home rather than go to work especially for after work functions.

Family dinner

I have to leave them for another couple of days this week which I am sure will just deepen this situation. I love that their connection is so intense but I am also intensely jealous! I spend a lot of my day rubbing my belly and talking to Baby as well as thinking about what it is going to be like when they arrive in 14-18 weeks time (yes, the countdown is on!). I am trying to keep it realistic, but it is so damn difficult!


4 thoughts on “When toddler favours one parent

  1. It would be SO hard for me to be the non-favored parent- I think you know that, Raegina!
    I think you’re being incredibly even-tempered and rational about this situation, while being honest about your feelings, which is awesome.

    Well, one thing we know is that everything changes, right? And it’s very likely that it won’t always be that same dynamic. In the meantime, take good care of yourself. You’re a loving and wonderful mum!

    p.s. I had so much fun reading about the kissing!!!!!


    1. Thank you! I don’t think I’m as even tempered outside of writing. But I guess I just kind of shoved myself in there by going to bed with them and trying to read. But it was evident that Master X was not swayed by my presence! If anything it caused more upset. 😦 😦

      Liked by 1 person

  2. My four-month-old currently screams whenever Daddy holds her for a while, but she’s just fine with me. It’s really hard on both parents when a baby or a toddler favors just one. I hope that he’ll be able to find a balance between the two of you soon!


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