It’s 4am and I was awaken by Xxm.
He wants his daddy. This is the nth time I have heard it for the past few days. Each time, he utters something to the same effect, I quickly text or call Meow to inform him. These are words to warm his heart while he is sloughing through the winter nights in a foreign country.
Meow and Xxm have a love hate relationship between them. Sometime when Xxm was 10 months old, he started refusing Meow. It all began when I was on an overseas conference trip for a week. We are not very sure what happened that time since Meow had always been tucking Xxm to bed on nights when I had my lessons. So it really came as a surprise to us when Xxm started to howl and cry if Meow picked him up. It was an intense and distressed moment for everyone. I can hear the frustration in the adults’ voice each time this happens. Xxm would only want nai nai to piggyback and soothe him. Meow could only stand helpless as his heart is torn apart by his two loved ones. One being the rejection of Xxm and the pain of seeing his elderly mum with her weak knees struggling with our son. Episodes like these recurred time and again, sometimes even when both of us are home. Till now, we are not very sure what triggered these outbursts. This continued until Xxm was about 2 years old and Meow mainly bears the brunt of it all.
Thankfully, Meow is not an irresponsible father. He worked very hard to gain his son’s affection despite the difficulty. He was in many ways a much better parent than me. He looked for many ways to bond and engage with Xxm. Though Xxm breaks his heart time and again by saying he doesn’t like Daddy, Meow stayed strong and firmly believes he will win his son’s love one day.
Fortunately, he does not have to wait long. It is evident now through Xxm’s words that he yearns for his Dad’s companionship. How can he not be since Dad was that involved in his growing up years, even till now! Dad is the one cleaning him up after he poos and changes him into his diapers and PJs every night. Meow always jokingly jest that this should be my job. We all know there are some limitations on my end.
For now, I am very relieved that our first born had openly expressed his love for his father. I have not doubted Meow’s ability to bond with him but I feared Xxm’s stubbornness and harsh words. How much can a father’s heart take? A lot it seems.
Unknown to Xxm, he has always unwittingly snuggled to Meow after falling fast asleep. It’s funny how he will realise his “mistake” when he wakes up and comes back to me instead.