Well, we can definitely tell that we’re nearing the 6 month milestone in Nugget’s little life. Not because of her size, because, well, she’s just a big kid, and is clearly destined to tower over her parents one day. Not because of her sleeping habits, although they have been a bit disturbed as of late, more due to her congestion than her impending next growth spurt. And certainly not her desire to enjoy solid food, even if she has been devouring more than expected.
Oh no. It’s because we’re starting to have to become aware of what she’s doing and where she’s looking at times we didn’t expect. Like, for example, when one parent is about to step out of potential eyesight.
See, yesterday, during another one of our bitterly cold days here in this wonderful wintery magic land we call home, HawtWife actively delayed her own trip into work. No skin off my back, since I’ve been lucky enough to be working from home Mondays and Fridays (which has also worked well, with regards to the days that Nugget’s daycare has been closed for the safety of the children against the elements). So there was some lovely family time, mostly between HawtWife and Nugget, as I was ticking and typing away. The time finally came when I was going to be the sole parent at home for a bit, so Nugget was set near me in one of her favorite play areas, and HawtWife got ready to brave the elements. The door was opened, and a world of white engulfed her, and there was nothing but me and Nugget left behind in the warmth of the house.
And then, boom. A cry like I hadn’t heard in quite some time.
See, as it turns out, Nugget had been placed in a location that gave her a great line of sight straight to the door that HawtWife had just exited from. Naturally, instead of playing with her toys, she was much more interested in whatever it was Mom was doing, so she watched. As soon as she saw HawtWife leave the house and the door close behind her, that was when the tears set in. Somewhere in her mind, Nugget became convinced that Mommy was going away, and that she was being left with the scary beard man, who lacks functioning nipples. Sure, she knows that the scary beard man is actually Daddy, but she’s not going to give me a pass on that nipple thing.
Admittedly, it didn’t take terribly long to calm her back down, but, for a bit, there were real tears in her eyes and running down her cheeks, and my heart was breaking a little. This was only made worse during the dinner hour, when Nugget got sad after watching HawtWife disappear into the kitchen (perhaps the stove monster had some devious plans). Even when Nugget got her solid food, she didn’t want to be anywhere near her high chair, which is normally one of the happiest places in the world for her. She wanted to be held. After all, if she was being held, then she knew that her mom wouldn’t be going anywhere, and she’d be able to access the tap if she so desired.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I absolutely love that Nugget has clearly identified her parents, and that she’s making it known when she wants one or the other (or, sometimes, both) of us. And I’m not even upset that yesterday, she clearly needed her mom more than she needed me. These things happen with kids, and she’ll spend the rest of her life going back and forth as to which parent she prefers (well, until she’s a teenager, in which case she’ll go back and forth as to which parent she’s more willing to tolerate). And it was actually a pretty cool moment to watch her make that immediate realization of “Mom’s not in the room, and now I need her”. If anything, it made me proud to see how much she’s developed in such a short period of time.
True, it took a bit for me to calm her down, but that’s what happens when you decide you prefer one thing over another. And I don’t blame Nugget in the slightest. If I was her, I wouldn’t want to waste too much time around non-functioning nipples, either.