My son and I are great friends. We spend most of our time together and have very few problems, save a missed nap here and there that leads to cranky-pants. My son and I are great friends, except when his other mother is around too much. That sounds terrible. I know. To explain, S had five days off for Thanksgiving. We traveled to Atlanta to see her family. From the minute M knew she was home “all day” (as he likes to say), he was mean to me. He told me to go away. He didn’t want me to play with him. He didn’t want me, his primary caregiver, to help him use the potty or eat or go to sleep. He flat-out rejected me and I spent 5 days feeling crushed and heartbroken. He was on S’s boobs much of the time, nursing more than any 2 year old really needs to while somehow managing to keep me far away. I rationalized his behavior, telling myself that he misses S and gets to see me all the time. While I can understand where he is coming from, I still felt unloved. I am used to this type of behavior in the middle of the night. When he is half asleep, he only wants her. He will cry and cry for her, ignoring my soothing and asking me to leave the room. But this is not normal for the daylight hours. Not even on the weekends when S is home all day.
We returned home Saturday evening and I was excited to get things back to normal beginning with Sunday. Normally, M and I wake early and make pancakes together while S sleeps in. I love the early morning time with him, his cheeks still rosy from the night’s dreaming. This past Sunday, however, he wanted nothing to with me and I was done. I couldn’t take it anymore. As I dressed to go for a run, I was sobbing. Both S and I had been telling him that he needs to be nice to me and that the way he was talking to me hurts my feelings. But he is two and is not rational. So, I sat on the bed half-dressed and cried. After much coaxing, he came and sat with me. No hugs or kisses, but his eyes filled with tears as I told him that I was feeling sad. Nothing. He went to S and nuzzled into her neck, refusing physical contact with me.
When I talked to my dad about how hard my weekend away had been, he asked if we had considered weaning M totally. People keep saying that weaning him will be the great equalizer. Then everyone will have “no nanas”, as he calls my empty breasts. But, I am just not convinced that is the answer. What I am learning is that sometimes, we just need different things from different people. I know this to be true in my own life, so I just need to sit back and listen to my boy, who misses his Ima, tell me he needs her for a few days.
Everything got back to normal today. S went back to work. M and I took great adventures and had a blast. I got lots of kisses and hugs and those sweet giggles that make my heart melt. And when S came home from work, I still got attention from him. We did somersaults on the couch and played in the tub. I got to put him down for sleep tonight. We read books and sang songs and he didn’t ask for his other mother one time. Seems he loves me afterall.