My husband and I have separated. The emotional impact of his unexpected departure from the family home has been felt both by myself and Miss Rose.
I had hoped that her young age, and the fact that her father has regularly been away from home, would mean she wouldn’t feel his absence too strongly. Unfortunately I was wrong.
When I found out he was leaving I tried to keep my reactions to a minimum. I didn’t want her to see or sense any distress. I gave her lunch, took her for a walk and played games. She had her usual dinner, her usual bedtime routine, and the usual laughter and smiles and love.
But she knows.
It has been ten days now. Over the days she has become increasingly clingy, increasingly sensitive. Whereas she would charge around playgroup barely noticing my presence she now checks in frequently, climbing into my lap and having a cuddle. If she bumps herself she cries a pitiful cry and needs comforting. In the swimming pool, which she loves and usually swims lengths of alone with just the aid of a foam woggle, she now clings to me, whimpers, and rests her head on my shoulder.
She’s still Rose. She still charges around, climbs, crashes and smashes. She still barges into groups of toddlers and steals from them. But she’s different. She’s anxious.
Having Daddy’s side of the bed to herself has not only been frequent, but preferred. She likes to stretch out and has been known to kick him repeatedly when he’s there. I had hoped, naively assumed, that daddy not being in the bed would be considered a bonus. For the first few nights I was right. Unfortunately a few nights ago she started feeling around on his side, reaching out and patting and then crying “daddy daddy daddy” in a horrible desperate cry. I pulled her to me, kissed her cheeks and tried to comfort her but the “daddy daddy daddy” got more frantic.
I calmed her down eventually and she settled back to sleep snuggled into me with her head against my cheek. But gosh it was hard to bare.
I don’t know if we will resolve this. And I am not going to discuss the reasons why we are now living separately, nor how i feel about it. I don’t think it is fair as he has no right of reply and anything I say will purely be my side and I don’t believe that in any such situation one person is entirely culpable. Suffice to say his absence is felt.
He intends to have regular contact with her and has been true to his word. So far has seen her twice, both times she was delighted. The first time she delivered each piece from her jigsaw draw to him with a proud “daddy” each time she handed a piece over. Today was the second and she lead him around the soft play centre with great excitement and joy.
Miss Rose has always been a daddy’s girl.
You can check out all my contact info an links on www.jjbarnes.co.uk, I’m on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram so you can get in touch on there, as well as find links to all my work. There’s also www.sirenstories.co.uk which has all the work by both myself and Jonathan McKinney and loads of extra content such as background stories for different characters. If you want to subscribe on Patreon, its just $1 a month to help support our work and it also grants you access to our extra podcast a week, you can go to www.patreon.com/sirenstories.
Thanks as always for reading, and I’ll speak to you soon I hope!