Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Father Daughter

"Get up!" my toddler, Claire, implores, as she tries to push me off the living room carpet.

Evidently, I'm not moving quickly enough, so she orders again, "Get up! Papa coming!"

Papa has arrived. My time as the sun, stars and moon in the eyes of my nineteen month old has ended. George is now the desired partner for the block building party.  It's not surprising that it took longer for the father/daughter relationship to blossom like it is now. After all, Claire and I got a nine month jump on her father. Perhaps, this is the beginning of "Daddy's Little Girl" that I've heard so much about.

daddy's_little_girl

Intellectually, I know three things about this recent shift in familial relations.

First, it's hilarious to see a toddler engage in exclusionary behavior worthy of a Mean Girl, even when the person she is giving the cold shoulder to is moi.

Second, watching the father/daughter relationship grow is such a gift. Claire and George play together so beautifully. Papa doesn't treat her like a baby; she's his equal. I've never seen two people make more meaningful towers of blocks together. I relish the opportunity to see what else they will build in the years to come.

Third, I know that this kind of early triangulation is a hallmark of individuation, a process through which all children must go. I'm glad that Claire feels safe enough in our relationship to reject me without fear that I will abandon her. 

My visceral reaction is a different story, though..."What am I, chopped liver, here?" I find myself on the outside, not a part of their exclusive, little club.

I feel a little sorry for myself too…"Nobody likes me, not even my daughter."

Then, I start to question my interpersonal skills, "She's right. I need to be more fun, like George." Now, I'm acting like an insecure teenager who's trying to figure out how to please a boy or get those Mean Girls to like her. 

But I'm not a teenager anymore, I'm a mom. So I remind myself that, if I were Claire, I'd probably prefer to play with George too. I love them both more watching them love each other.

And, really, I don't need to change. The next time Claire bumps her head or needs a hug, I'm sure she'll seek out mama. She's smart to play to our strengths.

Plus, Claire's cosmos clearly contains room for both of us. And so much more.

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63 comments:

  1. What a beautiful post! I love that father-daughter relationship. I know at times it can be hard for the daddy as he can feel "not good enough" when the baby always wants mama. But as they get older, they love playing with their daddies, because of course they are always more fun. Like a treat!

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    1. Yes, papa did go through this phase of "not good enough". I'm glad he doesn't feel this way anymore.

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  2. I can absolutely relate to this. There was a time when I was actually jealous of the relationship Reagan and Brian had with each other. It drove me nuts!
    Now I realize that she forms a special bond with both of us in different ways and that is beautiful!

    xoxo
    Lanaya
    www.raising-reagan.com

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    1. I'm jealous too. Keeping it in check, though!

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    2. Yay! I loved this post :)
      Thank you for linking your favorite post to Raising Imperfection.
      Please come back Friday to see if you were featured :)

      Lanaya
      www.raising-reagan.com

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  3. So sweet. My daughter is a big daddy's girl. She doesn't want to disappoint him. Ever. But me? She doesn't care if she ticks me off.

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    1. We aren't at the "ticking off" stage yet. I'm sure that's to come!

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  4. Ha I have the same issues here!! I know that chopped liver feeling all too well. Rest assured Mummy is always needed for cuddles and also to get drinks and food and clothes etc!! It is so funny that daddy gets bombarded when he comes home, they stand outside the toilet door he can't even take his shoes off or get changed!! Enjoy the time when its all daddy I have learnt too!!

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  5. I love that George treats her as an equal, I love that she has that relationship. I love it when Izzy wants to be with her Dad, it gives me a break! I love how she greets him with all the news of her day with so much excitement!

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    1. That's so sweet! I'm excited for this to happen for Claire and George.

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  6. lovely!! Our roles are defined by the little ones. As i was reading i though ah but I bet she goes to Mommy when she needs the extra cuddles, is sick or sad and taa daa you wrote just that.Love is abundant for both parents. thank you for sharing at the hop xo

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    1. Great minds think alike! Thanks, Katherine!

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  7. Yep, my daughter does the same thing. It goes in phases.

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    1. This is our first phase, so I'm just catching on!

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  8. Adorable post! I'm sure your sweet Claire has plenty of love to go around. I'm co-hosting this week with Katherine at Thursday Favorite Things. I hope you will stop by for a visit. Wishing you all the best in 2013.

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  9. Father daughter relationships are so important for the girls to know that they're loved and worth loving by a man. Mommys are always the ones who clean up the bruises and comfort when sad or hurt but daddies offer a stability factor that's unspeakable but so important. What an adorable picture of the two of them. :)

    Thank you so much for linking up to the Aloha Friday Blog Hop last week. I am following you by the way. :)

    If you have time, we'd love to have you come and link up to the Aloha Friday Blog Hop if you haven't already! (Thank you so very much if you've already linked up, I truly appreciate it!!)

    Come and link up, enter the giveaway (if you haven't yet) and celebrate the coming weekend with us!

    Aloha,

    Jean {What Jean Likes}

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    1. Oh, I so hope that Claire will feel worth loving later in life, because of how amazing her daddy is with her!

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  10. Oh goodness does this sound familiar! My son is a total daddy's boy and has been since birth. He likes me when he is hungry or super sad... daddy for EVERYTHING else. :) I love seeing them together, but it is hard at times to feel not wanted. Beautiful post and you are certainly more than chopped liver to her! (as you probably know!) Found you through the Thankful Thursday linky party!

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    1. Thanks, Jenni. Sounds like you've figured it out!

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  11. My absolute favorite pictures are "daddy/daughter" pictures - they are simply priceless! Found your blog from the Blog Walk link up! Excited to be following along!

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    1. I'm glad you like the pic. It's one of my favorites!

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  12. This was beautiful. I cherish father/daughter relationships. My dad is gone now. ;-(

    I'm your newest follower on the blog hop. I'd love it if you would check out my blog and decide to follow. I sure hope so.

    http://debbydoesavon.blogspot.com/

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    1. My father is as well. Though I have great memories of our relationship as a little girl!

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  13. Happy New Year!I love your blog. I found you through Aloha Blog Hop. Stop by and say hi if you get a minute. :)

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  14. Beautiful pix! I think I have a handful of pix of me with my father...and not very many more fond memories. I know it's tempting to be jealous (TOTALLY been there). Just know from a girl who grew up with out a father....this is what you want! Celebrate it, love it, grow in it together!! Happy New Year girl!

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    1. I understand where you are coming from. My dad is gone too. Happy New Year!!

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  15. What a wonderful post - full of truth and love and real life. I think it's lovely your little one gets on so well with her dad. Me and my dad wind each other up no end :)

    Thanks for linking up!

    Sarah @ A Cat-Like Curiosity

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    1. Thank you, Sarah. My mom and I are like that!

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  16. I love how you start your posts off which a scene instead of explaining the seen first. It draws you in to your post. From what I know about kids, the parental preference changes a million times thru out childhood. Enjoy these ups and downs and the ability to kiss boo boos while you can. ;)

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  17. I'm so excited to watch this daddy daughter relationship grow as soon as we have our little girl. I'm a total daddy's girl, so I get it - it's a really special bond between a father and a daughter (not to say that the mommy-daughter bond isn't special).

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    1. You have so much ahead of you! It's so exciting!

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  18. This is such a great picture, you have a lovely blog! Found you through the blog hop! New follower:)
    Brittney
    http://beautybybrittney02.blogspot.ca/

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    1. I'm glad you like the picture, Brittney! It's one of my favorites!

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  19. Aww, I know this will happen someday and I hope I am prepared for it!

    Thank you for linking up to Raising Imperfection!
    Make sure to check back on Friday to see if you were featured.
    Leslie
    www.violetimperfection.com

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    1. I don't know if it's ever possible to be prepared! :)

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  20. Hi There! Here from the Blog Hop. New Follower! You can find me at http://theresmagicoutthere.blogspot.com/ Happy Holidays!

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  21. What a precious picture, so sweet! I found you on the blog hop from Let Them Eat Cake. I'm your newest follower and would love for you to check out my blog and feel free to follow back :) Happy New Year!
    The Real McCoy(s)

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  22. I well remember this time with my daughter, and I felt exactly the way you do. I remember being so relieved that I could go do something else while simultaneously feeling shoved out. We moms are so weird.
    Amy
    piecesofamy.net

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  23. This post had me cracking up! Thanks for linking up for Mommy Moments with us!
    TheNotQuiteMilitaryWife.blogspot.com

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  24. I've had similar thoughts I've had to shake off! Now I just joy in there joy. How wonderful they bond with others. Thanks for linking up for Flash Blog Friday :-)

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    1. It is quite lovely, when I'm able to get out of the way!

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  25. Hola Rachel!
    As always your writings touch the heart! Beautiful post! Thanks for linking up, I always look forward to them. Claire is a very lucky little girl, as are you and George I'm sure. Wishing you and yours a blessed, safe and prosperous New Year!

    ~SimplyyMayra ;)

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    1. Thank you so much, Mayra! As usual, your kind words have touched MY heart!!

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  26. They do always need their mommas for comfort don't they? Sometimes I have similar feelings about my mom, Cupcakes' grandma so I kind of know how you feel. I'm glad you can also look on their play with joy as well.

    Thanks so much for linking up. I <3 your blog!

    Jamie

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    1. I'm sure that the relationship between Claire and her grandma's will grow too. And I'll be equally jealous, even though it's so good for everyone!

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  27. Such a cute post!!! My daughter does the same thing. She is such a daddys girl! I love this post- you write so well!!!

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  28. You know I can totally relate, I used to feel rejected when Dadda was chosen over me, mainly when my first-born daughter was little, but as I've had more children, now 3, I LOVE when I'm chop liver, I run as fast as I can away knowing they are in the best possible hands, other than mine, and I escape for some 'me time'. I can tell you're a super special mumma to feel this way, your daughter must just adore you. I love your blog and will be following in 2013! Happy New Year Rachel - Emily

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    1. Yes, I'm learning to take the break when I can get it!

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  29. Hi. Visiting from I <3 My Blog. I love this. It is so important for girls to get this kind of attention from their fathers. This sets their expectations for their future relationships with men. If Papa takes her seriously, makes her feel loved, and treats her with affection, that's what she'll expect from men in the future.

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    1. Well said! George is a great dad, too. So Claire is very lucky!

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  30. Stopping by from Miscellany Monday. This is soooo true. I have so been here where I'm all "Umm...I'm MOMMY!" But, just like you said - as soon as they bump something or want to show off their favorite picture, once again we're the center of their universe. I love that! Blessings from Croatia Rosilind from A Little R & R www.littlerandr.org

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    1. I like being the center of her universe. I know it won't always be the case.

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  31. There is nothing sweeter than when I witness my husband interacting with our daughters. The father/daughter bond is so important. Having been raised by a single mother and not having a father around while I was growing up, I really appreciate the fact that my girls have their daddy as a constant in their lives. It's so important!
    Thanks for sharing :)
    Katrina @ They All Call Me Mom

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    1. How lovely that you are able to appreciate for your daughters what you didn't have. Great mom!

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  32. Join us for a Friday Flash Blog, where you can share your favorite posting of the week and see what others are talking about at http://www.fridayflashblog.blogspot.com

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  33. I totally get it. As soon as my girls hear the garage door open, they run to daddy.

    Hopefully, we'll see you in the picture next week for Mommy and Me Monday:)

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