Two nights ago I went into Carter’s room to put away some laundry just after John had put her down for bed.
My almost-two-year-old-offspring was rocking and “Shushing” her doll babies to sleep. As I opened the door, she looked up, smiled at me, showed me her babies, said, “Mommy. Baby.” She smiled again, kissed me goodnight on the lips, and snuggled in to her blanket closing her eyes.
So maybe every time I ask her, “Hey Carter, who’s your favorite, Mommy or Daddy?” she says anything but Mommy. And maybe she whines with more regularity when I’m around and pretends she doesn’t like (or even need) me most of the time.
But suddenly I get it.
She WANTS TO BE ME.
When I was little and my two younger sisters used to follow me around and take everything I had and copy everything I did I was repeatedly told (mostly by my mother) to take all of it as a compliment. All they wanted was to be just like me. Such reminders, as a kid, mostly just gave me the urge to karate chop someone in the throat.
But I get it now.
And it does feel exactly as good as my mother told me it should.