March for Babies

Monday, September 11, 2006

Daddy Time

We recently purchased a new doggy shampoo, which for some reason is scented like boysenberries. Why? Ya, got me. I have never known a dog to smell like a boysenberry before. I suppose it smells better than, well, wet dog. Anyway, T was laying on the floor in front of Azure who was happily swinging and intermittently yanking on the links to make the swing light up and play music. I am not sure she realizes this is a cause and effect sort of thing yet, but she likes to hold things and to yank those things that she is holding (i.e.: my hair, my earring, T’s goatee, etc.) so the lights and music are actually just a bonus. I smiled down upon my husband and daughter who were making each other smile when T sniffed the air.

T: "Girl! You smell like a brown dog!"

Blue: "Does she smell like boysenberries?"

T: "Nope", he replied, "That is NOT what I smell."

Blue: "Oh, you mean she smells like the dog’s area out behind the garage?"

T: "Uh, yeah. I think it is Mommy Time again."


I changed her and T picked up the crying babe (diaper change = crying baby) while I was tossing the dirties. He was bouncing her, trying to soothe her and I thought I could make her smile over his shoulder. This backfired, big time. She saw me and reached for me, over his shoulder. She wanted her mother, not Daddy. Poor guy. He handed her off and went and sulked on the couch for a while.


Later, we decided to go to bed early. I asked him to hold her while I got her bottles ready in the cooler that I keep by the bed at night. He agreed but said he knew she would cry because she does not like him. Sure enough, she started fussing. She continued to fuss but I was busy in the kitchen, it was not my time to calm her, it was his turn. Eventually I heard, "I think she is calling for Mommy!" Seriously, it had not been 15 minutes. I know she calms for me. I know he doesn’t know what to do with her, but how are the two of them going to get to know each other if I run in there and "save" him all the time?


I keep hearing, "let him watch her". This may just be a difference of syntax, but I think I need to MAKE him watch her. Trial by fire and all that. I need Supernanny to come in here and tell him some things because it just would not sound the same coming from me as it would from a third party. Things like, "When she is upset it does not help when you cry louder in empathy. You should talk in a calm soft soothing voice and work on less stimulation rather than more". However, I fear if I say these things it will sound too critical and I do not wish to start a conflict on parenting style. He may just back away further instead of getting more involved. If she is in no danger then I think I should let him learn what works best on his own and by watching the way I do things.


So, when I go to my work social function on Sunday, Azure will be spending the afternoon at Grammy's instead of at home with Daddy, per his request.


Anonymous said...

Just my opinion but Azure needs to spend sunday with her father - trial by fire! My husband told me that when his kids were babies, his ex wife MADE him be the dad in all sense of the word (feeding, changing, being there to spend time) and at the time he fought it but looking back he was very glad she made him do it. That is his daughter - it is not babysitting when it is your kid. Good Luck!

Tiffany said...

Daddy has to live and learn. I remember the first time my husband really had to deal with a fussy baby. I heard her getting worse and worse but I didn't want to play the interferring mother who wouldn't let daddy hold a screaming baby. I finally went out into the living room (no more than 15 min) and took over. Over time Daddy and daughter have figured things out. Ever since I went back to work my husband has had a schedule where he can watch our daughter one day a week by himself. I think this had really helped and since I am not there he has to figure things out for himself. Now he loves daddy/ daughter day - in the summer they head to the lake for a swim when I wish he would get her home for an afternoon nap but that does not happen too often when it is daddy/ daughter day. Your husband will figure out the little one soon enough!

DD said...

Maybe Grammy will have something come up and can't watch Azure...hint-hint.

Tertia said...

Ah, could have written this exact post myself. Word for word. My husband and yours are related, for sure. its tough, very tough.

I'd write more, but it is 12:30am and I should be sleeping.

I'll mail you


Kate said...

Oh yeah - I know this one!

My husband is much better with our second baby now - and our first daughter couldn't be more of a Daddy's girl these days, but for a while there when she was first born it was awful. I remember going out to the shop for an hour.. and he pleaded with me for it to be him that went and me that stayed home - but I desperately needed to get out. When I got home he was sitting on the couch with a crying baby, and a face like thunder.. saying "she cried the whole time" - I almost said "ohhh diddums", but I think I did laugh.

I know it's not easy, but the more he does it, the better it will get - but also the older she gets and the more interactive, it will be easier for him to bond with her in that way.

Michelle said...

My hubby was just like T. You have to make him do it. Even if you sound harsh, you have to tell him that he is choosing to distance himself from his daughter and from you. I know that it is hard, but you had to figure out how to calm her and so does he.

Good luck.

Anonymous said...

Hi Blue, Tina here from the Kodak blog. I was just reading some of your posts, I can certainly relate to alot of your posts!

jeanette1ca said...

I always said that if I had another baby, I'd disappear for a day or two so that daddy would be forced to learn to care for and be comfortable with the child. It's difficult if you are breastfeeding, but honestly, leaving them completely alone is the only way, whether it's a day at a time or an hour at a time. He's not only worried about actually caring for the baby, he's also sensitive to your reactions to what he is doing. I agree you should avoid "telling" him what to do while he is trying to care for the baby. Pick a neutral time and phrase your suggestions as though you were talking to someone you work with rather than a slightly incompetent family member.