It's the most popular word in this house. "Mommy? Can you help me ...", "Mommy? Where is my ...", "Mommy?", "Mommy!", "Maaaawwwwwwwmy!"
I have the role of "Mommy". There's also a "Daddy" in this show, but his name is one of apparent reverence, only used on special occasions and when hoping for miracles.
For the first two years of her life, our daughter wanted nothing to do with her father. In my arms, she was a happy, contented baby. That all changed when Daddy entered her field of view. She would cry and howl shrieks that could purge evil from the devil himself. It broke his heart. It broke my heart. Our son was more father friendly, but because I was always with the kids, I was the one that made all the bad things better. I remember the first time both our children were comfortable enough with Daddy to fall asleep on his chest. They were almost four. It was a misty eyed moment for Daddy. That memory still chokes my husband up.
I am the one who hugs the sad away, kisses the booboos, knows where everything is and makes the best chocolate milk and peanut butter sandwiches in the whole wide world. My adoring fans, the kidlits, would have you believe that I have all the answers, as I am pestered daily with countless questions to tap into my apparent limitless knowledge. Mommy is, without a doubt, the star of this show.
This has been the cast order since the kidlits were born. Daddy disappears for 12 hours each day and arrives home, barely noticed. I come back from the bathroom to hugs and 'I missed you so much'. My husband takes it in stride, as much as I know it hurts him, he refuses to give up on his efforts to shine in their eyes.
Daddy has claimed the bedtime ritual as his. After hugs, kisses, back rubs and love yous from Mommy, Daddy is the master of ceremonies. He reads the bedtime story, scares away the monsters and tucks the kids in for the night. Daddy has an hour and a half commute to and from work. He is already at work before the kids are awake and he's home barely an hour before they are due for bed. Bedtime is Daddy's thing, his only and cherished weekday time to spend with the kids. It's his favorite time of the day.
Friday night, the kidlits stated that they didn't want to play in their bedroom in the morning, as is their thing to do while they wait for Mommy to rouse from her nightly coma. They want to go downstairs to play instead.
Daddy grants their request with a, "You don't have to wait for us to wake up, you can come into our bedroom and wake us up."
He said "us." As in either of us, meaning Mommy, because Saturday is my weekend day with the kidlits. Swimming lessons, errand running, and miscellaneous tasks, followed by treats and child dictated fun.
This particular Saturday morning, I am stirred conscious by two voices, full of anticipation. They have one common motive.
Daddy pries open his eyes, only partially conscious and sleepily says, "Go on downstairs. I'll be there in a minute." The words are barely out of his mouth when the snoring resumes.
Now, before you form an opinion on the man comfortably snoring away in bed upstairs, let's not deny him his due. He was up until 3am washing, drying and folding 2 large loads of laundry, cleaning up the dishes from the day and making sure I had everything I needed for my planned Saturday outings. Saturday is Daddy's well earned day of rest.
It's 7am, much earlier than I would like it to be. I come to my senses and head downstairs after the kidlits. I am greeted with a tone and disdain that I am completely unfamiliar with.
"Where's Daddy? I want to color with Daddy! He said he was coming! I need his help! Why are you here?"
Why am I here? I live here. It's Saturday. I'm doing the same thing I've been doing every Saturday since you've been alive. What's with the 'where's Daddy'?
Almost six years later and without any warning, my star of the show status just slid downhill with Olympic caliber. As bittersweet as it is, I'm not really all that sad about it. It means Daddy gets more time in the spotlight, something he desperately craves. It also means I have been down cast into a supporting role. I'm okay with that.
It doesn't matter where our names are placed in the credit roll. What matters is that the show goes on. I suspect our show will go on just splendidly with Daddy getting top billing. Raise the curtain and cue applause. Our home has a new star!