Saturday, August 25, 2007

Tightrope? Circle? Take your choice

Much as I love the relationship I have with Oliver - including his adoration, as I mentioned yesterday - his original happiness at spending time with me this week has now evolved into an expectation that Daddy is available to him from waking til sleeping. As a result there are now tears almost whenever I might try to do something other than give him 100% of my attention.

This could be trying at the best of times. Right now, with Hayley feeling somewhat similarly pinned down by Lucy's feeding habits, and both of us feeling tired, it is extremely unwelcome.

This afternoon saw a scene of wall to wall crying. Lucy was crying because, well, it was hard to say why, but she wasn't happy about some aspect of her latest feed, while Oliver burst into tears because I took a 5 second detour into the spare room to get his shoes instead of going direct to the living room to watch the requested episode of Roly Mo. I then made things worse by admonishing him in a somewhat abrupt tone, out of sheer tiredness and frustration. I hardly ever, ever "tell him off" or lose my cool with him like that, so this only made things ten times worse. Crying was now wailing. I immediately tried to re-assure him and undo my cock-up, feeling guilty now as well as tired and bewildered.

There seems to be a tightrope to be walked here, not wanting to spoil Oliver, but at the same time trying to make life a little easier for everyone by keeping him happy. The trouble is, the more I tend to him and keep him happy, the more he expects the attention and keeping him happy becomes more difficult.

Next week I'll be stepping off this vicious circle and going back to work. He will either be devastated, or, more likely, he will do what he always did before when I wasn't around: get upset for 5 minutes then accept it and be happy for the rest of the day. Fingers crossed...