I thought my 11 days away from River went pretty seamlessly. He had a great time, he was happy when I was gone, and our reunion went well. But signs are emerging that perhaps he’s worried I’ll leave again for a long stretch, or perhaps he feels he hasn’t had enough time with me and needs some extra attention.
Yesterday Mark spent the morning with him while I went to work early. River asked me for me as soon as he got up and continued to ask for me throughout the morning.
This afternoon, we had a sitter take him to the library while we went to the ultrasound appointment. I had been home when they left and was gone when they returned. When River returned and didn’t see me at home, he began to cry – something he never does.
When we found out the baby is a girl, Mark said, “I’m feeling sorry for River. I can already see that he is going to take second place.”
I don’t think that is dependent on gender. I think for the first few months, he’ll necessarily have to take second place while I focus on sleep and breastfeeding. I see it as a good opportunity to spend more quality time with dad and for them to improve their bond. But he will never be replaced or even shoved aside. He is the light of my life and I believe he knows that. Perhaps with my absence, he needs some more reminders.
Luckily, I have River duty this afternoon and evening, so hopefully we can get in a good chunk of quality time together. I think he needs it.