Leo has been daddy-crazy lately. It's really very sweet and a bit heart breaking. In the mornings when it's time for jb to go to work there are tears, begging and negotiating. Poor jb is real pushover when it comes to Leo's sad eyes and he can "five more minutes" and "one more book" her until she is late for work.
During the day, daddy is all Leo can talk about. "I bet daddy would like this!" "I'm going to tell daddy all about this when he gets home." He saves a space for jb in his pretend play - setting a plate when we play restaurant or making a special seat in our forts. He often asks to (video) call or text jb at work - and sometimes that's the only thing that will bring him back from a full on tantrum.
In the evenings when he hears the door open he jumps up from whatever he's doing and runs (and I mean RUNS) down the hallway shouting, "Dad! Dad! Dad!" And jumps into jb's arms. Poor Uncle Daniel has had the misfortune of opening the door (to take out the trash or something) and having Leo mistake it for jb's arrival. Oh man - the disappointment!
In the evenings or on the weekends Leo wants to spend *every second* with jb. Preferably in her arms. jb is often seen with a baby in each arm these days. He repeatedly asks "Are you going to work today?" Even if he knows the answer. Even if we've told him a dozen times that day. Even if jb already put in a full day at work and it's 7pm. He won't let her get a moment to go to bathroom. He needs to be near her, on her, and to be reassured she isn't going anywhere. He gets panicky if he sees jb pick up her work bag or reach for her jacket.
He will take jb into his room and they will read books or play pretend and if I open the door he will say, "Mama! We need some space! Please don't come in here!" He will insist that jb (NOT me) be the one to take him to the bathroom, give him a bath, get him out of his carseat, put his shoes on, put him to bed.... I'm not at all offended by all this. Honestly I welcome the break after a long week - but I do feel a bit sad for Leo. He is hungry for time with jb.
jb is a hard worker, certainly - but she only works one full time job, has a reasonable amount of flexibility in her schedule and makes home and family a priority. She sees her family a good deal more than many working parents and it still seems like (and not just to Leo) we hardly get her. It's a harsh truth about our society's work-life balance.
jb does a great job trying to indulge Leo's need to soak her up when she is home. She ensures they get special one on one time as well as going out on adventures as a family. Still, some evenings can barely fit dinner and our bedtime routine. And the weekends slip by in a few breaths. I hate that he is just going to have to get used to it. We have planned a staycation - which should allow all of us to tank up on some daddy time. Hopefully it will be especially good for Leo right now as he goes through this all-daddy-all-the-time phase. Leo is already making a list of things he wants to do with this expanse of dad time. His list so far includes: watering the plants, making muffins, and going to the Please Touch Museum. Sounds good enough to me. I might add a few family naps to the list!