Monday, November 14, 2011

Attachment

What does three weeks off for an airline pilot mean?  Facial hair!  He actually grew out quite the beard, which I didn't like much, but what was I going to say about it? I knew it would be coming off soon enough, so 'whatever'. Plus, he is the only one to blame for my likeness for a clean-shaven guy...their manual mandates a clean shave...well, he could sport a 'stach from mouth corner to corner...so he has conditioned me to this look.




What else does time off mean?  Lots of time with the kids.  So much time, in fact, that Ben actually asked for Daddy to buckle him into his booster car seat, one day.  Ben NEVER asks Daddy to do that.

That night after the kids went down, Steve told me that he hates going back to work since he feels like he is really bonding with the kids.  Case in point, the booster seat.  I have to say that when Steve told this to me, my heart broke a little bit.  These are the moments that you realize how being an airline pilot Daddy affects the kids...and how being an airline pilot makes you the type of father you are.

I don't know if the kids will ever be attached to Steve the way they are with me.  The kids are still far too young to make an absolute statement at this point, but it is obvious, now, that the kids are very attached to me.

OK, so let's play out this whole attachment thing in pictures, shall we?  Not only are the kids attached to me, they are also into the competition thing. So, when I hold one, the other wants to be held. When I pull out a snack, they both want to be the "first one" to get the snack. You get the picture. 

Let's backtrack to our vacation:  on the beaches of beautiful Sanibel Island, it was family picture time. I was holding Ben, and Steve went to pick CC up.  CC just wasn't gonna have it.  See below: CC is crying and Steve is just pissed off and annoyed.  I bet Steve was pissed because the kids wanted me "yet again" and didn't want him.  I absolutely love this picture, since it is totally the face I see when Steve gets annoyed.  The phrase "come...on..." (in a sing-songy way) is usually said with this face. Can't you hear those words coming out of his mouth with that expression?!
Was CC upset because she wanted me to hold her and not Daddy? Was it because she wanted the same thing that Ben had? Not sure, but I wanted a good family picture damnit, so I turned the situation around.


So, how do I remedy the situation? I held CC along with Ben:
See: happy family picture, damnit!

Did my action reinforce the kids attachment to me? Yes.  Is that bad? Probably.  But, again I wanted a good picture and I was going to do whatever it takes to get it, damnit!  Does Steve get upset with me, at times like this, because I override him?  Absolutely!

But, it is hard for me to not step in.  Four days out of the week it is all me...I do everything for the kids those four days.  How can they not become attached to me when it is all me half the time?  You know, sometimes it is hard for me to step back and let someone else do the job.  Plus, I am a bit controlling, so that doesn't help things much either.  I do try to make an effort to step back and not get myself involved...but sometimes I just can't.

Ah, now let's play out, in pictures, how I can step back...while in Sanibel, we took a dolphin cruise.  At one point CC wanted me to hold her, and I was with Ben.  Steve, patiently, worked through the issue.  CC was screaming and crying and very upset.  I wanted to step in, but I just held back and let Steve work through it.
CC can go from happy as a clam, one minute:

to pissed off, the next second:


As much as I could hear her screams over the boat engines, I just sat there and let Steve handle things.  It isn't easy to hear your child screaming, but Steve is very capable of dealing.  Plus, I made the conscience effort to let Steve handle the situation to reinforce that CC needs to mind him.  It turned out all good...eventually CC calmed down, and the rest of the cruise was enjoyable.

This whole attachment thing may just be a function of the kids age.  The kids are just 4 and 2, and I can already see that Ben is becoming more independent.  With more playtime and independent time, the less he wants me to snuggle with him.  Before I know it, this attachment thing may be a distant memory.  I am embracing the attachment thing right now, since I love to be so connected to the kids.  Although, this doesn't mean that, at times, I get frustrated that they always seem to want me.  And, I hope that the attachment being laid now will always be a part of these kids, and they will always find this comfort and connection in me.  I will call this one of the perks of this lifestyle...this mother-child bond that we are forming.  


  







1 comment:

  1. So funny! I saw your post from your Florida vacation and noticed you holding both kids. We have the exact picture. Now we have three kids so things are a bit different. My oldest is nearly six, so he is becoming more independent which is nice. However I think haveing a traveling father is getting more challenging too. He misses his dad more now, or at least he can tell me he misses his dad more.

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