Over the last six months or so I haven’t been apart from Annie for more than a day or two. In that time I’ve changed lots of diapers, prepared tons of baby meals, and watched way too much “Yo Gabba Gabba.” Thankfully, my hard work has paid off. Annie and I are buds, so much so that when Annie gets hurt she sometimes runs to me instead of Heather. When this happens I smile and say, “Aww, I was just closer, Hon. It was no big deal. I promise.” On the inside though I cackle like a madman and think, “Mwahahahaha! Point to Daddy! Daddy is the favorite! Daddy shall rule the world!”
My streak of not being away from Annie for more than a day or two ended last weekend when I went to San Francisco to visit my parents. On the way to the airport I suddenly became overcome with worry that Annie would decide Mommy was WAY cooler than me while I was gone, so as I kissed Heather goodbye I tried to make her promise not to make Annie like her more than me.
Heather just smiled and said, “You’re crazy.”
Then, not half an hour later, Heather texted me this photo:
“Oh, Mommy. How I love you so.
“What the…?” I thought. “A toy store? I haven’t even got through security and Heather’s already taken her to a freakin’ toy store?!”
I slumped through the metal detector muttering, “That is low, Heather. What do you have planned next? Lunch with Elmo? A trip to Disneyland with the cast of Yo Gabba Gabba?” I was suddenly so surly I’m surprised TSA didn’t flag me as a suspicious person.
Things got better for “Team Daddy” though when, that night, Heather texted to say Annie had been screaming for ten minutes straight and that there was nothing she could do to console her.
“I don’t know what it could be,” I text-lied. “Teething, maybe?”
The truth is I DID know what was ailing little Miss Annie. She was missing her Daddy!
The next morning I woke up to another text that only confirmed Annie had been driven mad with longing for her dear old dad. It read:
“Things are bad here. Annie went behind the couch to poop, took off her diaper, and poop fell everywhere.”
Annie had never done that before (thank goodness). She was CLEARLY acting up because of her absentee father. I started to get cocky and thought, “Girlfriend might as well get a tattoo that reads ‘Annie heart Daddy.'”
Oh, but it got even better. Later I called home and heard Annie hollering in the background while a flustered Heather yelled, “Get down from there!” “Leave Rigby alone!” and “That’s not food!”
The next day on the plane ride home I spent the whole time imagining the incredible reunion that awaited me at the airport. Annie would probably sprint through the baggage claim screaming “Dada! Dada!” as she pushed aside people with tears falling from her face. I would then lift her into the air and embrace her as everyone cheered, clapped, and chanted our names. You know, that or something a little more dramatic.
But the joke was on me. Upon getting to the car Annie not only acted shy like she didn’t know me, but she – daggers in my heart – reached for Heather and cried, “Mama” when I pulled her out of her car seat.
Et tu, baby?
“Aww, I was just close by, Hon,” Heather said. “It was no big deal. I promise.”
“Why is she so attached to you?” I asked. “What happened to her crying and pooping all over the place?”
“It wasn’t all tears and poop. Between those hiccups there were lots of cuddles, hair combing, and girl talk.”
Unbelievable. I go away three days and it’s like everything I ever did went right out the window. As Loudon Wainwright III sang, “In the end every kid wants their mother.”
I’m not giving up though. This week Heather is out of town at BlogHer, and I’m going to go all-out to win Annie back to “The Daddy Side.” I’ve even got a call in to Justin Bieber. So Heather, when the Bieb shows up at our door carrying a life-size Elmo doll in one hand and a “Yo Gabba Gabba” cake in the other, you’re toast.
Ha ha ha You guys have “Issues”….And, I’m Soooo Happy you do!!! ha ha ha ha ha
Don’t worry… just wait for the teen years when she figures out how to pit you against each other
I don’t think they’re going to have to wait until their teen years Little girls, I have discovered, are frighteningly Machiavelian! (The stories I could tell about my kid…)
I wasn’t gone for 36 hours and my Hannah Banana went the opposite way. From Mama’s girl to Daddy lickety split!! She snubbed me by running to other end of the crib… and calling Dah-ddy. Chick fil-A sweet tea won her back….
“Text-lied” was my favorite bit, great post, made me smile.
You guys make my day! Your descriptions are so vivid I was laughing at the thought of you running through the airport, arms spread out….. Too funny.
So hilarious. I feel the exact same way when I’m out of town for work and I come home to find that our 2.5 year old is firmly on Team Daddy.
Mama in the Moon says:
“Et tu, baby?”
LOL! So hilarious. Love it.
This is such a great post–too funny! I love how it makes fun of what are very real, major feelings for all parents. My husband and I have been taking turns on trips this summer, and my poor girl has been alternately Team Mama, Team Papa and now Team Big Bro because my son’s away for camp. I’m sure we’re all secretly thinking of ways to win back her affection!
I also think that image of the Bieb is so great. And not so far from the truth. Did you see the youtube video when he surprised his best three-year old fan in person?
I wish you luck. But even though it’s nice to be the favorite, it sure is great to get a break from childcare, like poop duty, when you’re not!!
Hilarious! My Hubby and I are having the same “fave” issue with our youngest. He’s 3 and been working us both. But our oldest, 7, is TOTALLY a Mama’s girl!
I absolutley LOVE this post Mike. You’re an awesome dad!
Love this! Our son is 2 1/2 and EVERYTHING is ‘Mommy do!’ It drives me and my husband kind of nuts! The other night he ran to our bedroom in the night but couldn’t quite get the door open on his own. My husband said he’d go get him so I didn’t have to get up, but when Andrew saw his dad at the door and not me, he said, ‘NO MOOOOMMMMMY DOOOOO!’ and he closed the door again! My husband opened it again and brought him to our bed, where a 15 minute tantrum ensued because he wanted MOMMY OPEN DOOOOOOOOOR! It happens with everything – if he sees Daddy poor him a glass of milk, all hell breaks loose, etc etc. Yet he LOVES Daddy, they have tons of fun together and spend time together every evening and weekends, it’s not like Daddy isn’t ever around or something! It’s just some sort of strange control issue I guess?!
I’ve heard around age 4 kids tend to go through more of a phase of Daddy Do, so we’ll see what happens!!
My husband and I have this battle too.. only it’s a silent battle that neither of us admit to. I work Thursdays and Saturdays and our daughter stays with Dad. So, by Sun she’s SO over me and doesn’t even want me around. By Wednesday I can force myself back in to the favorite position (sort of) but then it all goes right back out the window when I go back to work. Whatever, my kid likes her daddy better- I know it and he does too. But, I’m pregnant and this one will love me the most… haha!!
lol… LOVE IT!!!
Absolutely hysterical post! Our son is definitely on the Daddy side. Of course he’s with Mommy all day, and Mommy is his teacher, too. So, when Daddy comes home from work, the boy runs to him with a huge smile. Of course, all bets are off if the little man is sick. Then, it’s all Mommy all the time.
LOVIN’ the alliteration!!! “I was suddenly so surly I’m surprised TSA didn’t flag me as a suspicious person.” “text-lied” was my second favorite part of this awesome post. Third was “tears and pooping all over the place.”