Since Penny was born she has always been really sticky to Shorty over anybody else in the house. When mommy is carrying her nobody else gets a chance. When anyone else carries her and she sees mommy she makes a dive for mommy. And when she’s sad and crying she only calls out to mommy.
I used to feel kinda sad about the whole thing. You see Fighter gets a lot of attention because he’s really sociable and enjoys talking to people so I’ve always made it a point to pay special attention to Penny. That extra attention however has been hard to give.
Every time I ask Penny if i could carry her she says “No” and runs away with the quick steps of her little feet. Sometimes I would feel sad from all the rejection I’ve been getting but I realize that just meant I needed to try harder.
So here’s what I did:
- I constantly asked her if I could carry her no matter how many times she said no.
- When she called out for mommy when mommy wasn’t around I would say “Mommy’s not here but Daddy’s here”.
- Whenever I see her on her own alone at home I would play with her. When I see any opportunities that Fighter gets I make sure she gets it too.
- I make it a point to read her a bedtime story every night before she sleeps.
- I look at what she enjoys doing, and then I make it a point to do it with her.
After many months of trying the above, here’s where I stand today.
- She still says no but in at least 40% of the time I ask she raises her hands signalling for me to carry her. I don’t know about you but that’s progress to me.
- When I say mommy’s not here but I am she doesn’t ask for mommy anymore. Instead when Mommy is around I hear her sometimes ask for me.
- When I’m reading, or playing games or doing things on my own I notice her coming to me to give me attention too. Whether to offer to play something with me or just to sit on my lap.
- Today we were at a book store and I sat on the floor while I got out a story book. Without asking she immediately came over to me and sat on my lap, ready to listen to the story. She does that every time I open a story book now.
- I realize she likes being chased. Yep… being chased. So I would pretend to be a monster and try to catch her and she would run away in her quick tiny steps while laughing until I finally caught her.
If there’s one thing I think I’ve achieved this year is I think I’ve won my way into Penny’s heart. I now feel really really loved by her and all that effort, all that rejection… was just worth it.
I’ve learned a lesson here. That is no matter how much our kids reject us sometimes, just keep trying… and soon enough they’ll see you for what you really are.