Betrayal is an ugly word, mostly because it describes an ugly action. Some people consider betrayal the worst thing that can happen to a person.
When it comes from your child, it’s even worse.
I don’t know when I lost my daughter. I’m pretty sure she was mine for a while. But is has happened. Somewhere along the line she has turn-coated on me, and now she’s Daddy’s girl.
It’s just a little bit hard. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m glad they are so close, and really, it’s not like I’ve done much for her. You know, besides bringing her into the world. Sure, dad is a necessary factor in the whole conception thing, but a man’s role is, as usual, fairly superfulous when compared to what the mother has to do. He just spreads his seed–kind of like a dandelion–then goes about his merry way. Then the mother has to actually grow the child, carry the child, and of course let’s not forget actually have the child. But you know, I guess compared to, I don’t know, making armpit fart noises, that’s not much.
Like I said, I’m not bitter. After enduring the most miserable pregnancy in the history of womankind, I was plunged head first into my first-ever hospital experience, with IV’s and needles and surgery and all kinds of fun things. I had enormous quantities of amniotic fluid (true fact: the doctor actually said, “Well, I’ve had woman pregnant with twins whose bellies were almost as big as yours.” Thanks, doc.) and so I looked like some sort of freakish mutant, because the rest of me was shrinking because I couldn’t eat anything because my digestive tract was somewhere in the neighborhood of my neck! Oh, and I’m not even going to talk about how my body has never and will never recover from being stretched in such an odd shape.
Then of course there’s the teensie little things I did after she was born, like trying feverishly for three months to get her to eat, and then those few little trips just to here and there, you know, like Minnesota and Maryland and Philadelphia and Virginia. No biggie. We sometimes had to go to a few appointments around here, too, but not more than once or twice a week for three or four years. Hardly even worth mentioning.
And let’s not forget that I’m the one who packs her lunch, gets her clothes, gets her ready, gets her meals for her. But really, who can even keep track of little things that?
Not that I’m bitter.
Just like that, she’s not mine anymore. She’s always been pretty close to her dad, but now she’s officially gone over to the dark side. Yesterday, she wouldn’t even come downstairs with me when she got up for school–he had to go up and get her. He can brush her teeth without having to hold her down on the floor. I try to get her to sit with me, and she’ll just frown and then go sit with her daddy. Sweet, isn’t it?
I wonder if this is related somehow to that whole mother/daughter almost-a-teenager tension thing. My daughter may not be a typical girl, but then again, maybe she’s more typical than I think.
Also, I blame my husband for at least part of it. As the years have passed, I have become the heavy–the one who always handles the discipline. Dad’s the fun one, Mom’s the one who gets on you for stuff.
The one consolation I have is that I’m pretty sure the boy is mine. I have carefully timed my bribery to win him over to my side, and it seems to be working. I had to try pretty hard, since, again, I really haven’t done all that much for him, either.
Not that I’m bitter.