Sunday, March 28, 2010

Daddy's in the doghouse

And we don’t know why. The doctor says it’s the Oedipal complex. And perhaps she is right. She said it would last about a year, which jibes with my friend’s statement that her son started paying attention to his father when he turned three. But boy, it’s bad. I really feel sorry for Mark. And I feel especially bad trying to convince him for a second when he’s being so clearly rejected by the first. Who wants to voluntarily bring on something that requires so much work and sacrifice, but little love in return?

River will be in a happy, cheerful mood, until dad walks in the room.

“Huggies?” dad asks.

“No huggies!!!!” River shouts emphatically.

“Kissies?” dad asks.

“No kissies!”

If dad approaches and tries to get a hug or kiss, River will push him away and shout, “Nooo!”

“Stuffed bear?” dad asked, trying to find something to endear him to River.

“No stuffed bear!”

“Adios River,” dad will say. And only then River brightens up, “Adios papa.” “Adios papa,” he’ll repeat cheerfully. Then he’ll often proceed to ask me for the stuffed bear his dad had just offered me, or come give me a hug.

This morning I wouldn’t give him the bear. I figured his dad had just offered it to him and he’d said no. If he really wanted the bear, he should have taken it from his dad. Other times, when he makes a request, like mama flush the caca, mama take me down from the seat, I’ll oblige, as long as it’s not very inconvenient for the family. But man, I feel bad for Mark.

I wish there was something I could do turn on the love button for him. I’m sure it will come eventually, and I’m afraid the tables will turn one of these days. I’m so grateful that I’m not the one in the doghouse, as that would make me worry terribly about my ability as a parent. But it also hurts to see it happen to Mark.

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