“The I want Daddy syndrome”

So I just want to start off by saying I am no expert, but I have been a parent for approximately 165 months now. So I do have some wisdom in this department. Some days I have this parenting thing down pat while other days I like to hide in the bathroom with my coffee while I regroup. So let’s talk a bit about my teenager. He wakes up either on top of the world, or ready to throw hands with the first person that smiles at him. As for my32 month old, she is a pretty much on the same page as the teenager but she can’t actually verbalize it. Yet.

So, I was off work and having a grand day with my toddler.

As I heard the pitter patter of her little feet, I prepared myself for which personality my little one was going to have today. I hear her feet slow and she almost tip toes up to my side of the bed. Mind you, my husband is already off to work and it is now about 7 am. I was thinking, maybe she’s going to crawl into bed and snuggle before falling back to sleep. SoI decided to lay there not moving. If I don’t move, she can’t see me right? Wait that’s a T-rex. Same difference.

It’s then that I feel her warm breath on my face. I hear her inhale slowly. She then proceeds to ever so loudly yells “ROAR, I’m a bear.” So much for sleeping in. I open my sleep filled eyes and say as nicely as I can, Good morning Peanut. The response I get is so sweet and gentle. She looks and me with her big brown eyes and sternly tells me No, I want Daddy. Where’s my daddy? I tell her Daddy is at work and it started a verbal battle .I never thought I would be arguing with a miniature version of myself over her dad being at work, but I like to try new things.

We both calm down and grab some coffee. Just kidding, she drinks a coke. Ok, seriously people I’m kidding. We go to the kitchen and she is now ok with mommy. Solely because she just realized I’m the closest thing to an adult thereand she’s hungry. The rest of the morning is uneventful.

Early afternoon, I did the craft mom thing and even used glitter. I think I am still cleaning up the glitter from the project we did 9 months ago. We made, well I guess it’s a frog. However, it’s yet to be determined what is truly is. We had a tickle fight and she giggled yelling more mommy, more. She even cuddled up on my lap and took a nap.

We went outside to play later that afternoon. She ran happily to the swing set. I want to swing mommy. She allowed me to assist her with getting onto the swing. Then she saidwanted a push. I grabbed onto the rubber covered chains of the swing and tried to give her a push. It was then that she started screaming”No, I want Daddy.” I stop pushing and she now has tears running down her cheeks. She looks directly in my eyes asking for a push. I try once more. Again, she breaks down and in minimal words tells me I am not a sufficient swing pusher and she must have daddy. Or that is what I assumed she was saying. I can’t lie, it stings sometimes hearing this, but I know she can’t verbalize everything she wants yet.

During this earth shattering breakdown, daddy pulls in the driveway. Her eyes light up and yells Daddy’s home, daddy’s home. She jumps off the swing almost losing her balance out of excitement.He parks his truck. It’s like one of those made for TV movies. She is running towards the truck yelling daddy, daddy. He gets out and kneels down with open arms. She halts and yells No daddy, I want mommy. She runs back to me refusing to go to daddy.

We all go inside. I start to make supper and hear them playing Legos. She is asking daddy to build a house. I hear the lil giggles and the chatter between them two. It melts my heart. Even after being denied as good enough to be the swing pusher, she is still my little girl.

It was at this time, 5:27 pm that break down number 82 of the day started. I want stairs is all I hear. I turn and look in the living to see my husband on the floor building what I can only describe as the Mona Lisa of stairs. I am horrible with Legos and he can build anything. I hear Peanut crying No, daddy not those stairs. I want mommy to build the stairs.

I tell her Mommy is busy and she storms into her room.

We let her stew a bit because this is a normal occurrence. It is just when you think she is having a grand time, she turns from Dr. Jekyll to Mrs. Hyde and then “I want insert parent here” phrase comes out.

I think children are able to find the best in their parents. I know I tend to cater more towards the emotional part versus the silly part. What I mean is that I take care of the owies and the hurt feelings. I cuddle and kiss the owies. So when the little one get a bump or bruise she only wants mommy.

On the flip side, I guess I am not as fun because when it comes to playing on the swing set or toys, daddy must be the cooler parent because she prefers daddy. If I am playing toys, she might not want daddy, but she makes sure to tell me how daddy does it.

Always remember all children are innocent in their wants and needs. They don’t mean to make one parent feel inadequate or hurt any ones feelings, but it happens. Take a deep breath and make the best learning experience you can.

Remember there is going to come a day when your child will not need your help themselves anymore, let alone ask for you like she does as a toddler.

When I am away at work, I often wonder if during the middle of an activity, she yells at my husband “I want mommy” like she does for me. I mean it’s only fair right?So I asked him. He almost rolled his eyes at me. I guess this amazing phrase goes both ways.

He told me that for the most part, she is happy to request daddy to do every single task when I am gone. Until she gets told no. I guess he went to do a simple task for maybe 2 minutes and she had proceeded to climb on top of the table. He described her to be standing on top of the table very proud of herself while saying,”Look Daddy.” Well, Daddy said you can’t stand on the table and kindly requested her to get down. That began the meltdown of the century. She yelled, “no no no I want my mommy.”

She has it down to a science. As the bright age of 2, she is already trying to play us against each other to see who will give in first. My best advice is to work as a team and make a game plan and stick with it. And never, I mean never go against your significant other in front of your child. They will figure it out and you will literally start world war 3. Keep a united front.

On a more serious note, remember that you can research parenting tips, read all the books you can get your hands on and it will not provide you with every scenario. You need to find your way of parenting. And as for the I want mommy or daddy syndrome, It will pass. Don’t get discouraged or feel inadequate. As little ones grow, their little brains are growing and learning too. They mean no harm by these phrases. As they get older, you will look back at all these frustrating times and laugh about them.

Like the time when my oldest was little and he was sick. My husband came downstairs to use the bathroom and low and behold, he was in the carpeted hallway covered in what I can only describe as left over pizza. I heard my husband yell for me. I went downstairs and almost slipped on a piece of sausage. It was defiantly sausage because at that age, that is the only thing he would eat.

I looked in horror at the mess all over him and the carpet. He looked at us and said “I want mommy.”