|That's about right. (found here)|
I am the apple of his eye, the sun in his sky, the absolute best person in the world. He gets excited when he sees me when I arrive to pick him up from daycare. He laughs when we have breakfast and dinner. He brings me a book and sits in my lap so I can read it to him over and over and over again. I follow him around the house as he goes exploring. Even with all the fighting he does when I try to change him or dress him, it's still wonderful. I am A#1 in his book...
...unless Nicole is around. Then I become a distant second.
But here's the thing: I'm okay with that. And I'm okay with that in no small part because I see what it's like for Nicole.
The Appleseed loves his mommy and it's wonderful, but when she's around, he is demanding as hell. The idea of me really taking care of Appleseed by myself on the weekend is a bit insane, but he won't let it happen for more than a few minutes. At some point, he'll realize that mommy is somewhere in the house, and he'll go find her -- that's assuming he even lets her leave.
On those rare moments when Appleseed doesn't want to wander the house, I can sit on the floor in the living room while he plays with his toys. I just kind of hang out, maybe mess around on my phone, while he plays for a bit. It's never a long time, but it gives me a break.
Nicole never gets that. If she's there, he wants to be engaged. There is no break time for mommy.
Yes, I'm second fiddle when she's around, but even when I'm first fiddle, I don't get it from Appleseed like this. There's a nice balance between us. It's not that he's not needy with me, because he can be, but he can also be totally independent, an option Nicole rarely gets. As bad as I may feel sometimes when Appleseed ignores me for his mom, I realize how exhausting this must be for Nicole. I actually think I've got the better part of this deal.
I'm kind of glossing over a few things. As needy as Appleseed can be, he's also become more independent, or, more exactly, less absorbed by the moment.
There was a time when I would pick him up from daycare and it was everything to him. It stills happens now, but there are days when he gets excited to see me for about 10 seconds before he wants to go back to playing. I don't even have to sneak out in the mornings anymore. He might not be aware of it, but in his head he knows that I'm coming back. He doesn't have to see me all the time to know I'll be there.
The same goes for Nicole. It used to be that when Nicole got home from work, Appleseed would get super excited and practically ran to her. It was the best part of his day.
It still is, but now it lasts about ten seconds, before he's ready to go back to playing. He gets really excited, then he runs off to play with his toys.
But that's during the week and the weekend is a different creature all together.
On the weekend, he has his mommy here and it's very hard for her to get any time away from him. It's not that she particularly wants to be away from him, but there are things to be done around the house, things that she wants and needs to do that are much easier when she doesn't have a one year old up in her business. If she even leaves the room, he gets upset, although Appleseed doesn't ever really get upset, not in the traditional sense. Upset for him, I guess.
He doesn't do those things for me and it's actually wonderful. I suppose it's a simple matter of degrees, like he needs to be with Nicole, but he wants to be with me. That's not to say that he doesn't want to be with Nicole, too, but there's still a need component there, or at least what he thinks is a need component. And that's why he gets upset when she walks away, even if she's just down the hall.
After 13 months, this might be the first time I haven't felt any jealousy towards my wife with regards to our son.
There are probably moments now when she feels a little jealous of me.
It will be interesting to see how this dynamic continues to evolve. For now, I'm just going to try to enjoy it as much as I can.