I had a very frank conversation with a lovely friend and colleague today, herself a mother of two little girls. I confessed that sometimes, I feel I haven't bonded with Dexter as intensely as I'm supposed to have, and that he rarely seems to have those real 'needs his mummy' moments.
I'm over-tired, not one hundred percent health-wise and have too much to do at work, so I think I was giving myself a bit of a hard time. I was questioning whether my 'choice' to work full-time and have the boy in full-time childcare means that I don't have the closeness that perhaps a stay-at-home mum would have with their child.
My fears were assuaged when I collected Dexter from nursery and I got a beaming smile and a demonstration of his latest 'skill': listening to 'Row, row, row your boat...', the 'crocodile/scream version' and responding at the end with a sort of squeak - obviously intended to represent a scream. Brilliant.
Don't get me wrong, I love my boy more than I thought was humanly/physically/emotionally possible, but I do sometimes feel like his chauffeur or hired-help. I do not get greeted with the same state of euphoria that Daddy gets greeted with on his return from work. The only real quality time I have with the boy during the week is when we get home at about six o'clock, before bath time and bed, which happen somewhere between seven and eight.
Today's #366 photograph demonstrates a typical mummy and boy post-commute chill-out time. There's generally: some armchair-bouncing and window-watching; some book/toy action (today, climbing onto the walker); some walking/running/falling; and of course, some quiet watching of CBeebies. Today, there was also some vomiting on the sofa, but I didn't quite manage to capture that on camera. Shame.
Perhaps the boy's lack of mummy 'neediness' is more a reflection of his stable and content little routine. I hope so. Besides, I am privileged enough that I have six whole weeks of holiday coming up relatively soon when the boy will get his mummy back. Now that's plenty of time for some mother-son bonding. Can't wait!