My husband would often tease me that he’s jealous of me, saying Isla loves me more than him (with a pout, like a toddler). When I leave Isla with him while I’m in the kitchen or the bathroom or doing some house chores, Isla would keep screaming “mama” or “dede” (“bottle” or the act of breastfeeding in Filipino). She’d eventually stop and play with him, until she’d see me or hear my voice.
Now I, on the other hand, am jealous of my husband. He can leave Isla in the playpen while he’d do something else at home. I couldn’t do that, even when I’m working. I’d have to be inside the playpen with her, my laptop on the nearby sofa, to get work done.
Of course my husband and I know that Isla wants both of us with her, and I don’t think she knows how to play favorites (yet). When she’s hungry or needs a change or wants the boob (just because), she’d call for me. When it’s playtime and nap time, she’d look for the familiar arms of her papa. And she utterly enjoys receiving hundreds of kisses from him (I couldn’t elicit so much laughter from her when I do it. HAHA!)
Watching her grow is fun and overwhelming. It’s truly bittersweet. I keep imagining our days when she’s able to run and talk to tell us what she wants. But I also want to hit a Pause button and just have her the way she is now – learning about her world and exploring it while still hanging on to me or her papa for support and security, wanting to be in our arms all the time, enjoying the hundreds of kisses we give her every single day.
And we’d playfully complain how she loves one parent over the other.