Katie is mad at me.
For all Rob's talk of Katie missing me, Katie calling for mommy everywhere they go, Katie peering into the bedroom and living room optimistically asking for "MomMEE?", my arrival last night failed to impress. When I slipped her out of bed to snuggle her and let her know I was home, she gave me one bleary eye and asked to be put back in her crib.
This morning she woke up crying at 7:15, a full hour before her usual wake up time. Rob went to her and she cried for Mama, to which Rob enthusiastically said "Mama?! Ok!" and swung her into our room. I expected a happy face, the toddler version of my own excitement to be home with her.
Oh, no. Screaming, flailing, kicking, and general tantrum throwing upon seeing me. If I spoke she'd scream and hide in Rob's shoulder. If I touched her she'd jerk away. Rob finally gave up and took her downstairs for some quiet breakfast and I snuck into the kitchen a minute later to try again. She refused to tolerate me, but did finally concede to let me laugh at Rob when he played peek-a-boo around the staircase. She'd burst into one of those great toddler laughs, open mouth spraying blueberry poptart, and then turn to me to see if I got it. Everytime she'd find me laughing she relaxed a little. Clearly I got her sense of humor, maybe I could be accepted.
But the morning didn't go great. She gave me the silent treatment all morning, allowing me to hover nearby but protesting if I was overly friendly. I rationalized that maybe she was just in a bad mood until daycare dropoff. She gave enthusiastic hugs to the caregivers and one of the other kids, she laughed at their hellos, immediately asked to dance and gladly agreed to instead wash her hands for some snack. When I said goodbye she gave me a quiet stare and a flat "bye."
This year has come with unexpected costs. I tell myself that once this job search is done, once Rob's thesis is done, once my second paper is done, once my next experiment is ready, once we graduate, once we move, once we get settled...we'll take a break. We'll take a long weekend. We'll go somewhere beautiful. We'll visit family. We'll just spend a few days as a family. Y'know, if by then Katie can get a few days away from her fulltime job and drive down to join us.
Cat's in the cradle, silver spoons ...you know the drill. I just never really thought we would.