My skin is thickening, but it's not quite there yet. I hope one day it's as leathery and armour-plated as possible, come the eventuality my daughter will have enough blind rage to call me the worst parent ever and/or that she hates me.
Presently, she does not hate me. She doesn't know how, and I give her few opportunities to learn. But this week just concluding has been as trying as it gets, as – combined with a bout of fever – she sensed her time with the people she knows and trusts at daycare was coming to a close. Her fear and dread of the unknown, of the next stage in her life, arrived in the form of fits and tantrums, of tears, snot, shrieks and wee-hours wails for mommy. And also a resolute disinterest, bordering on disdain, towards myself.
There were moments during the week where I couldn't blame her. I chauffeured her to the lion's den each morning, reducing her to tears while peeling off her coat and dropping her to the floor to face the day, then making a hasty exit. Our regular back-and-forth chatter in the car was all but reduced to a muted HI DIGGER as we passed a grader or front-end loader. She'd cry when I offered her drive-home grapes. Sob when I couldn't pass her to mommy quick enough. And then scream about her injustices to poor mommy's face until bedtime.
This evening though, a reprieve. On the cusp of her second birthday, the fog lifted and she's once again hugging-slash-acknowledging me. We brought home her Valentine's Day swag ("I MADE THAT"), her infant room portrait and daycare belongings to prep for the new space next week. She tucked her photo under a tea towel and said GOO-NIGHT SCOUT I LOVE YOU TOO MUCH. She jumped on the couch. Even if it's an eye-of-the-hurricane scenario, right now we'll take it.