Posts Tagged ‘eczema’

When L was about 1 he began to show a strong preference for his dad. It started with pure excitement when T was around. This was sweet. It evolved, though, to more than that. Instead of simply being overjoyed at T’s presence, he began to be disappointed and dismayed at mine. Each morning I’d go into his room to get him up and he’d start crying and throwing his pacifiers and lovies at me from his crib. When he started talking, the first time he strung a few words together was during one of these fits. He said, “No! No Mommy, Daddy!”

Knife to the heart.

And so began my tumultuous relationship with L. Everyone said that babies go through these phases of preferring one parent over another, but L’s preference has not wavered and he’s now 3.5. (By the way, just about every day since that first sentence, when I go in to get L in the morning he cries, tells me to go away, and says he wants his daddy. Nice.)

Now let’s bring S into the mix. My darling, sweet baby. The baby who has been the teeny apple of my eye for 11 months now.  Who required my full-body full-time attention in those early, colicky weeks where I constantly carried, bounced and shushed her. Who I bathe, feed, sing to, care for, soothe and admire. Whose giggles and squeals I deftly extract. Whose preferences I alone know. My baby.

It started innocently enough. As T walks through the door each night to L’s running delight, S began to flap her arms excitedly too. It’s developed to her crying when she hears his voice as he comes through the door until he comes and picks her up. And then to her suicide dives out of my arms and into his if he crosses her line of vision. And, finally, her first word: “Dada.”

I know, I know, “Dada” is easier to say than “Mama”. Fuck that. I say “Mama Mama Mama Mama” to her all day long and all I get in return are coos and dribbly raspberries. Not even the slightest effort or interest. T walks through the door and clear as a bell, “Dada! Dada! Dada!” That bastard gets all the glory.

Meanwhile, I have snot on my shoulder. The left side of every single one of my shirts is all stretched out from the way S pulls at my clothes as she sits on my hip. Half the time my entire left breast is exposed to the world thanks to her tugging at my top. I’m the one who wrestles with her to cut her nails, brush her teeth, get medicine into her, put cream on her eczema, change her diaper etc.

Motherhood is a dirty job. All I ask for is a little “mama”. Maybe some excited arm flapping. Instead I get the moan of discontent which means: “Hey, you, slave-lady, fetch me more Cheerios. NOW!”


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My 7 month old has terrible eczema. She can not be left alone with her hands or she will scratch her head and face until she is bloody. So, when she goes to sleep I have to put socks on her hands. As I write this, I’m watching her over the video monitor as she struggles to grasp her paci with her be-socked hands. It’s both sad and a little funny, but leaves me wondering what permanent retardation in her manual dexterity I may be causing? Will she be behind her peers because she didn’t have full access to her fingers during her early months? Or, like a person with no hands who learns to use a fork with his feet, will she have unusual advantages?

At last, she managed to get her paci. On her belly, using her two front  paws and her nose and mouth she was able to corner the paci and get it in. Atta girl!

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