As you may or may not have read, I spent the bulk of last week without Nugget wandering around the house. It was a surreal experience for me. I’ve been away from her for a couple of days at a time over the past 16(!) months, but each of those times, I actually had specific things going on almost the entire time. Things that took my mind off of missing my daughter. Things that gave me reasons to put on pants and remember to eat enough during the day. This time, with the exception of a couple of random events throughout the week, I had none of that. I did find myself almost turning on Sesame Street anyways in the mornings, out of habit. I’m glad I didn’t, because I’m sure that Elmo’s grinning visage would have spurred not only anger, but intense bouts of melancholy over the fact that Nugget was away in Maryland, and I wasn’t.
Thankfully, that long, cold, dark nightmare of bachelorhood ended on Friday around noon (full disclosure: I did get something out of the time to myself… I live-blogged a movie for Scared Hitless). I picked up the girls from the airport, we had a lovely lunch together, and there was a little bit of cuddle and reconnect time before I had to run off for my indie wrestling show.
No, I’m not one of the wrestlers. I’m just a talker. This fact will surprise absolutely nobody that actually knows me.
Anyway, it was nice to reconnect. To see Nugget and HawtWife again. To hear about their adventures in Maryland. There was only one thing that wasn’t so nice.
Nugget decided, while she was gone, that Dad wasn’t all that cool any more.
Now, to be fair, I was never cool to begin with (anyone who holds a different opinion might be mistaken on the concept of “cool”). But that didn’t stop Nugget from enjoying time hanging out with me, or wanting to cuddle, or being a little overly enthusiastic about giving kisses. But upon returning from Maryland, I was a terrible burden that she merely had to put up with in the brief moments where she allowed HawtWife to get a moment to herself. I was an obstacle to get around. Heck, when I asked if she wanted to give me a kiss, she made her typical kissing face, inched towards me, and then launched at her mother, laughing the entire time. Nugget was clearly toying with my emotions, and she had no regard for how I would take her rejection.
Okay, it’s not accurate to say that Nugget stopped thinking I was cool, or that she stopped liking me. It’s just that, on the scale of 1 to amazing, I’m a pretty solid “He’s fun to hang out with”, which is light years behind “She’s fun to hang out with, AND she produces nourishment for me”. Also, with the way that November went, Nugget got a lot more time with HawtWife than she has since she was just a few months old. All of that was certainly going to lead to a bit of spurning of dear old Dad, and it’s only now, that we’re able to start somewhat re-establishing our usual routine, that she’s warming back up to me (point of fact, today during nap time, she got super upset that I had the audacity to stop cuddling with her after she was asleep to use the restroom. I had to return to cuddling and wait patiently before she would fall back to sleep, so I’ve got that going for me).
I did joke a bit with HawtWife that, clearly, the time spent away made Nugget realize that she doesn’t actually like her father at all, which isn’t true. First off, she isn’t a teenager, so she’s not really at the point where total dislike of her parents can kick in quite yet. Secondly, she was kind enough to give me a present, which she didn’t even want to share with her mother.
She used her sharp-as-hell fingernails to carve some good scratches in my head.
Yup, that’s love.