Looking back over the last year or so, it’s rather amazing to see the changes in Kayleigh’s behavior around people. Especially me.
When Kayleigh was a newborn she was very easy going around me. In fact, being held in my arms and hearing my voice often got her to sleep faster than anything else. But as any parent can tell you, newborns, babies and toddlers are very different creatures. After a suitable number of months passed by with her mother and I filling ye olde traditional family roles, her attachment issues became rather singular. Gone were the simple days of letting her pass out in one arm with a beer or Wii controller being put to use by the free one so that I could give Mommy a break. Instead it was “huggy Mommy” this and “huggy Mommy” that.
To make matters worse, my work schedule eventually ran afoul of her sleep schedule. Kayleigh fell into the habit of an early bedtime, and that meant that getting home past 6 PM ran the risk of the “nighttime routine” already being in progress. At the very least we began the procedure shortly thereafter. And thus she made the connection between my getting home from work and the dreaded state of sleep coming soon. Much to my dismay I began to be greeted with tears and wailing and moaning and gnashing of the teeth.
But like I’ve said, life moves pretty fast, if you don’t stop… no, wait… Ferris Bueller said that. I said something about newborns and babies and toddlers and how different they are and how much things change. So more change happened. Kayleigh bedtime moved later and later until we weren’t even heading up stairs until after 7:30 most nights. This gave me the chance to actually play with my little girl after tossing off the shackles from the daily grind. Now my arrival became a time for rejoicing, not lamenting.
She may not willingly admit it to anyone at this time, but Kayleigh seems to really like her old man now. Daddy coming home gives her even more options for amusement with Thomas trains and juggling balls and oven mitts. So as it gets close to the right time, she starts asking (or telling) Mommy to “see Daddy in the window.” And that is The Woman’s cue to pick her up and let her walk in our bay window. From that perch the wee lil’ one gets to jump up and down excitedly and ask for high fives through the window as I come up the walkway.
Kayleigh isn’t going to be mistaken for a Daddy’s girl anytime soon. Her preference is still obvious to anyone who spends more than 5 minutes around us. But she has at least started to express a preference that I remain a part of her life and spend a little time with her under certain terms – and that’s a big deal after the past few months. Just the other day she asked The Woman if she could “See Daddy at work”. That phone call was a major high for me. Even if all of my co-workers weren’t completely enamored with her I’d still say yes. Fortunately they all are, which makes her visits to the office a nice break for everybody – right up to the diaper change.