Well, I knew it had to happen eventually. I was lucky it took this long.
Mabel is quite independent as a toddler. I don’t mean she can take care of herself. I mean she doesn’t ever seem to care if her mom or dad are present. In new situations, she pretty much runs off to immerse herself without a second glance at Mac and I.
While it occasionally hurts my feelings that I am forgotten like an old shoe, I’m really happy she is this way. I’m a pretty outgoing person and while I’m not always at ease in every situation, I toughen up (per my father’s most readily dispensed advice: “Toughen up kid!”) and put on my game face. I’m not sure how I would handle a timid, shy, or fearful child.
Friends would agree that I’m not always the most sympathetic person. A friend was crying once, over something that didn’t warrant tears, and I actually said, “Stop crying, that’s stupid.” I genuinely didn’t mean to make her feel worse, I just really thought it wasn’t worth her tears.
So, back to what had to happen eventually… usually Mabel doesn’t care if I go to work. She doesn’t care if Mac and I leave her with her grandparents. She doesn’t care if she’s in a room full of strangers and can’t find us (I don’t think she even bothers to look for us). Generally, she’s happy to see us, but doesn’t need us around.
That means, most mornings, after we snuggle in bed for a while, I get up and she asks me if I’m getting ready for work, then goes off to her room to read books. Later, if she isn’t mad about something, like her doll’s legs getting stuck in the doll stroller, she walks me to the door cheerfully. I get a hug, a kiss, and a bless on my forehead, then a heartfelt, “Goin’ a work? Bye Mommy! See you later!”
This particular morning didn’t go as usual. When it came time for me to get out of bed and get ready for work she didn’t like it. She straight up said, “Don’t wanna get ready for work. Wanna snuggle in a big bed!” She was pretty adamant about it. There were a few tears and some whining. I didn’t have a choice. I explained to her that while I had to go to work today, I had off the next 4 days and wouldn’t have to go to work.
Since she is who she is, she got over it rather quickly and went to play with her toys while I got ready for work. However, she wouldn’t come downstairs when it was time for me to go. She didn’t walk me to the door. Mac and I called up to her, telling her I was leaving and asking for her to say goodbye. No dice. It wasn’t until I was out on the front porch that she finally realized I was really going and she came down to give me a kiss, a hug, and bless. No tears and no fussing.
It was probably one of the hardest mornings- having her ask/tell me point blank that she didn’t want me to go to work. I’m glad she mostly doesn’t care if I’m there. I don’t think I could take tears and pleading every morning.