Do I have "mommy jealousy" over the fact that our baby girl is already showing signs of being a daddy's girl?
At 8 months of age, she now clearly recognizes us -- her father and me -- when she sees us. And she's pretty much always happy to see us (something I know we should enjoy while it lasts ...). However, her reactions to each of us are starting to differ.
When our girl sees me, she grins her gorgeous open-mouthed grin (with her two little bottom teeth visible), and her eyes light up. It's one of the best feelings in the world.
Her reaction to Daddy, though, is a different story. When he enters the room, the girl literally loses her shit.
Her arms start furiously waving up and down; her legs start kicking; and she starts emitting squeals of delight. It's as though he's a King of Leon and she's one of their most devout groupies. She immediately holds out her arms to him, and he gladly takes her and buries his face in her neck.
They clearly have a thing.
Sometimes he can calm her instantly when I've tried for half an hour with no success. Is that annoying? I'd be lying if I didn't say that, yes, sometimes I get a little twinge when he sweeps in like a golden god and saves the day. But mostly I'm grateful.
And the fact that she loves being with him so much that she's content no matter what they do, be it browsing through a hardware store or being worn Baby Bjorn-style while her dad push mows the lawn? It's actually pretty effing cool. Not only does it give me a break, I know they are having so much fun being together.
I love that she loves to hang with her dad. And I love that he loves to hang with his baby girl. That he doesn't think twice about taking her with him to the office or to a coffee meeting, or waiting patiently for her to finish squealing before he continues a business call. That he always puts her first, despite the demands on his schedule.
I also know she's at a stage right now where she spends more time with me than with her dad, so I don't take it personally when she's super excited to see him come home. I'm actually just as excited when he comes home each night. He's a great hang and a lot of fun. And he has a way of just making things better.
I have not a qualm in the world about my husband's care-taking abilities when it comes to our child, or his parental judgment. He took to fatherhood like a duck to water and for this I can rest easy. I know if something ever happened to me, our girl would be just fine. More than fine.
And I know I'm damn lucky to have a partner with which to co-parent our child. I have more respect for single parents now than ever before.
There's often a special bond between fathers and daughters. This is still the case with my dad and me, and I'm glad to see this bond developing with my little girl and her own dad.
So mommy jealousy? Not so much. But mommy gratitude by the boatload.
Low quality smartphone images via the author