Better than chocolate pudding

So husband went to Germany last week. (Remember that trip I so badly wanted to take? But decided I would wait because I'm still nursing, and well, the pumping at the airport, the lugging bottles of milk through Germany..) Well anyway, yep. It's come and gone. Yes, I'm ok. Thanks for asking. I did get a cuckoo clock out of it, so I'm happy.
Anyway, it's darn hard being on our own. When daddy's gone, the family unit just doesn't function properly. Even just a week or a few days is rough. It's necessary and we get by. But I don't have to like it.
Oh, I really am okay with it. It's not until nighttime when I get sad. When I get ready for bed and wash my face and notice there is only one toothbrush in the toothbrush holder. And when I wake up in the morning and one side of the bed remains made.
We need him. When he's gone, every day becomes really all about passing the time until daddy comes home. And no matter how normal I keep things and how I mask my own missing-ness, it doesn't seem to matter. Something just feels weird and not right. And now that Poops is older, he is completely beside himself.
He is daddy's little boy. I mean, of course he's mine too. But daddy is the Idol. The I-Ching. The cherry on top. The best thing since sliced bread.

Sure I get jealous sometimes. This old mommy's chopped liver.

But daddy. He's -- well, he's daddy. The day he left for his trip, Poops was fine most of the day. Until dinner came and daddy didn't walk through the door. And he realized, oh, he really isn't coming home today. And he cried. And he cried. And cried. The head back, mouth wide open, tears literally squirting from his eyes-kind of crying. Which completely broke my heart into millions of tiny pieces because this little boy's heart actually hurt and you could see it. And there was nothing I could do! Nothing! And I couldn't cry because I'm the mommy. I have to console. Do you know how hard that is?! I'm the town crier!

So I tried some things. It happened to be "A" week. All week we were working on "A" crafts. One of them was making an anchor out of construction paper, then making a construction paper chain to hang it. So what we did was make a chainlink for every day daddy would be gone and every morning we'd wake up and remove one link, until we get to the last one which would be the day daddy would be coming home. Making this was fun. But not being able to take a linky off right away -- not so fun. Complete and total inconsolable uncontrollable wailing. You mean we made this thing and daddy's not home right now?

Then, I put a picture of daddy over on his chair at the table where he would be sitting and I said, "See? Daddy's here! Here he is! Give him a kiss!"
Worst idea ever.

Oh the wailing that ensued from this. Bad, bad idea. He just cried some more while looking at the daddy who is only in the picture and not standing right there, and he added in some yelling, "See! Daddy! See! Daddy!"

Yes honey, I know you want to see daddy. But he went on an airplane. He will be back soon, I promise! Just a few days!

More wailing. "NO AIRPANE! SEE! DADDY!"

OK, I'm not above bribery here. Anyone up for some chocolate pudding?

"Yes!" (sniff). "Choka ping!"

But even chocolate pudding couldn't do it. Not. even. chocolate. pudding.
A couple bites in and the tears just started streaming again and his nose was running right into the pudding cup. I can't believe it. This little boy loves daddy more than chocolate pudding.

So what finally worked? This.A little plastic airplane and little tiny pilot. Long ago we pretended this was daddy's airplane and the little man was daddy. I didn't think he would remember this, but he did.

And he toted it all around with him like daddy was there. And he seemed ok with that. He knew daddy was away, but the little airplane and little airplane daddy he could hold onto in the meantime. How that comforted him, I don't know. But whatever works. Note to self though: the plane is too hard and plasticky to sleep with. Poops woke up all night rolling over onto the daddy plane -- I heard it all night in the monitor and neither one of us slept. Plus in all the tossing and turning, we lost daddy somewhere under the bed. It was touch and go there for a while until we found him among random debris. He was fine. Pilot daddy, that is. Just a little shaken up.
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  1. I'm so thankful that my kids were older before hubby got his dream job of being a fireman. They sleep just fine and adjust, it's just me up all night without him home. lol

    Poor little one's! That is the worst is seeing them wait cause they know he will be home soon.

  2. Aw, poor little guy! And you, too! It's hard enough for me with Tom being gone, but to have to do it with little ones and little ones that are crying, I'd not be OK.

  3. glad there was something that could comfort him. separation anxiety w young ones is always hard.

    btw..do you have a sledgehammer handy? you'll probably need it after you hear that cuckoo clock one too many times through the yrs LOL we had one growing up...it was cool for a bit, but annoying the rest. my mom gave it away to her good friend who just HAD to have it.

  4. Oh, that is so rough! Luckily N doesn't need to go on as many business trips as before, but he works such late hours that Elliot is pretty used to not seeing Daddy at bedtime (sadly)

  5. awww, that is one of the sweetest and saddest posts I have ever read. I can imagine that the reunion will be quite crazy!

    P.S. How apt is it that your captcha said "ukfita"! - yes, this girl needs to a fitter UK person!

  6. Isn't it amazing what can comfort them? Choc pudding? Nope. Mommy's loving arms? Nah. A plastic "daddy"? Of course that's the answer! I'm glad you unlocked the secret and that pilot daddy was found amongst all of the "under bed debris". It's "enter at your own risk" under my son's bed... or anywhere in his room actually!

    I'm with you on being home alone. I hate it even if my hubby is gone one night. I stay up really late so I don't have to be in bed alone very long. Of course, the next morning when I'm dragging tail I regret it. And the pumping? I'm with you mama. I have a love/hate relationship with my Medela. Wouldn't want to travel with that puppy! Glad you all survived!

  7. oh i feel your pain!
    Daddy hung the moon and well, me, mommy is lucky she gets to live on the planet with such a star! :-)

    i am so glad that you found something that worked. and well, now i'm craving some chocolate pudding!

  8. I know what you mean, my kids would rather do chores with Dad than go to the park with Mom--he's just that much more popular :)

  9. Oh, bless his little broken heart!

  10. My husband works really long hours but he never travels. He always comes home and my youngest runs to the door with glee, "Daddy, Daddy". I go away and come back and yes...chopped liver.

  11. Wow! He sure is a daddy's boy... I am learning about the hole console thing.. I too am the crier... maybe not the town crier but a crier indeed! It is so darn hard not to cry when you want to. I think you did a great job with all of your activities.. what more could you have done? I will keep some of these ideas in mind if and when my son ever gets to that point!

  12. Poor little guy! That's not an easy spot to be in as mom either :) Glad that the airplane helped - that's really sweet.

  13. Sweet! Glad the plane helped!

    Daddy has been gone from our house on several trips lately. Fortunately Esme doesn't seem to be too impacted while he's gone, though she perks up whenever I'm on the phone. But when he gets back, she won't let him go. He has to carry her everywhere or she cries, and she sobs a storm whenever he leaves the house. Very sad . . .


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