From the time Kweku was born, I was the one who would generally wake up in the middle of the night to feed him. He was born quite big and, from day one, was on a breast-bottle combo diet. He would have bottle at night and that was my responsibility, so I spent many a night with him awake. When we moved him from our bed to his cot, he slept on my side of the bed so when he woke up, I was closest, and would wake up. In those early days, he seemed to be more about Daddy although there were times when only Mommy could calm him down, as it should be.
We spent many an afternoon with him lying on my chest snoozing while I watched football. We would chill watching music videos or dancing around the room to music, which he loves. He loves the car so we would go on daddy-son drives, the soundtrack varied, depending on the mood and the intention. Bath and bedtime has also always been our time. We are collecting Dr Seuss books and each night would end with my reading him a ‘stoly’ to sleep. It was daddy-time all the time.
This lasted till around his second birthday. The shift was gradual. One of those things that creeps up on you and, before you know it, the universe as you know it has changed. The whole world has become about mommy. Sometimes he just walks around the house repeating ‘mommy’ like a scratched record (for the old school out there). When he wakes up in the middle of the night and comes to our room, he goes to mommy’s side. When he wants to go for a drive, it is in mommy’s car that he wants to ride. Bath. Food. Water. TV. Play. Everything needs mommy to be there. As he starts to speak more, he also verbalises a lot clearer. I am told, at least 10 times a day, that I should call mommy to come help him. He generally doesn’t want me to participate in most things, unless mommy isn’t around.
It has been unbalancing. To go from the centre of your child’s universe to the fringes can be confusing. I have read the various writings and went through an ‘inner child’ workshop that unpacked the various phases we go through as child, and know that things will swing back my way eventually. That doesn’t make it any easier.
We still have our moments and our time together but I am learning to gradually accept that, right now, my son is a mommy’s boy. I am still daddy. That will never change. There will be times when he wants daddy to fix things, but mommy is his guardian angel. This too will never change.