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Good guy/bad guy

When Fussypants started his first day of preschool he was 6 months old. My husband was in the fire academy and his time was just not his own and because we didn’t have family near-by getting him to school and picking him up every day was on me. At that age children have a skewed perception of time. An hour can be a minute or it can be 24 hours. He had been left with grandparents before, so I didn’t anticipate any issues. And when I dropped him off that day he was fine, I was the emotional wreck. I made sure I to stay busy at work and the time flew by. Not wanting to miss his 5:00 feeding (I was nursing), I left earlier than normal. But when I picked him up he wouldn’t look me in the eye. He kept turning his head away from me and refused to acknowledge me. He was mad! Again, I was an emotional wreck.

I called my mom on my drive home and weepingly told her how awful I felt and she said something that has stuck with me. “As mommy, you are going to be the bad guy as much as you are the good guy. You will never win, so just accept it but I promise that he’ll come around. He loves you more than anything and you are his world”.

By the time we got home and I sat down to feed him, he was all smiles. My mom was right, he came around. But to this day, I still have a good guy/bad guy relationship with my son. He can be mad at someone else entirely but he takes it out on me. He’ll stick his tongue out at me or pout at me, even if I am not the cause of his distress. It’s like he punishes me, even if I had nothing to do with it. But if he is hurt, scared or has happiness to share, he also comes to me. I am his world.

Don’t misunderstand, he loves his daddy and adores his grandparents and has his own special relationship with each. But I’m his main target for all things good or bad.

My daughter, on the other hand, is happy to see me all the time. Even if she is perfectly content and happy hanging out with someone else, the minute I walk into the room she’s all about mommy. Her eyes light up, she starts making her baby noises and tries to get to wherever I am. She’s only 11 months and I’ve been told by all my mommy friends who have girls that all girls turn into daddy’s little girl, so I expect to be replaced soon, but for now, I am her world.

My children might pile on the bad moments as much as the good moments but the end result is the same. I am loved and that is a very nice feeling.



  1. Oh yes, that is the same with my little men! I get the occasional “You’re mean!” even when I’ve done nothing. We are lucky to be so loved, aren’t we?

  2. Gingerbreadmama says:

    I get a lot of “I don’t like that or I don’t like when you do that” even when I did nothing. He recently starting testing the waters with the word “hate”. He said the other day “I hate…that” and I swear he was going to say “you” but thought better of it. But then he is all hugs and kisses and smiles, so he must not *hate* me that much!

  3. It’s like you read my mind! My toddler misbehaved yesterday morning and basically, killed me with his meltdowns. He was at his grandparents all afternoon and the first thing his grandfather said to me was what a good boy he was. I jokingly remarked that he must save all his bad behavior for me. But then my little boy saw me and came running over. Melt. So, yes, they do save their good and bad for us mommies.

  4. I can’t imagine how hard it must be to simultaneously be the whipping post and the snug pillow. He’s such a spirited kid, and can see how going from waaaaah to wuv in 2.0 seconds can melt your heart. I admire your mom skills, Cor. :)

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