The sun is setting slowly and the kids are bouncing off the walls, ready to head upstairs to bed, but before we can tuck them in for the night, there’s one more thing I have to do. I’m not really hopeful that tonight will be different from any other night, but I can’t resist the urge to try. You would think after months of rejection I would learn my lesson. I guess I’m a glutton for punishment because I turn to my boy and ask, once again, “Do you want daddy to rock you tonight?”
I covet the time in the evening with my kids since I am usually already teaching up a storm at work before they are awake. The only time I get to spend with them are these brief moments of daylight before dinner, the short amount of downtime afterwards, and then time spent doing the bath and bedtime routine.
What frustrates me so much is the fact that I invented this bedtime routine. When Pax was a baby we used to be able to just lay him in his crib after a kiss and he would fall right asleep. But in an effort to bond more with my son I started rocking him and reading to him from the Chronicles of Narnia. I enjoyed this time we spent together, rocking back and forth, reading together and getting drowsy together. It was some of the only time I got to see my son without anyone else around.
Well, one night Erica had to cover the routine while I was out, he has not wanted anything to do with me since. Tonight, when I ask him if he wants me to rock him I quote the answer he will give me in my head. “No, mommy rock me…” And as soon as the words left my lips he delivers the inevitable blow again. I long for the days when he wants me again.
I’ve tried to sneak the question in at other times of day. In the afternoon when he’s playing, I’ll drop the question on him, hoping the unexpected timing will result in an unexpected answer. His reply, “No, Roxy rock me.” That was low. Roxy is our dog. Apparently, he would rather have our dog rock him to sleep then his daddy. “Naw, Roxy doesn’t have any hands!” Ella giggles. I’m less than amused.
The ball he was playing with rolled under the couch and he came to plead for my help. “Will I get the ball for you?” This seems to be an opportunity to barter for his affection. “I’ll tell you what Pax, I’ll get the ball if you let me rock you tonight?” This almost worked, but he remained steadfast and instead chose to play with another toy.
It appears that, for now, I am destined to watch from a distance as Erica holds him in her arms, enjoys his hugs and cuddles, and reads him bedtime stories while I wave goodnight and shut the door behind me.