There was a lovely article in the newspaper yesterday that probably didn't make the deadline for the Father's Day issue. It was written by a single father to two adpoted sons. One of the things he wrote was that when it comes to babies and very young children, quantity time is what matters. I couldn't help but agree.
Babies develop attachments to those who constantly care for them. As toddlers, separation anxiety develops with the fear of being apart from these people. The writer mentioned that when his son fell and hurt himself, he ran howling straight past him into the arms of his nanny, breaking his father's heart. While he longed to spend more time with his kids, he couldn't because he had to put in long hours at a demanding job as the breadwinner of his family (unmarried, he lives with his mother, siblings, nephews and nieces, his adopted sons and a host of nannies and househelp.)
Now that he is out of work, my husband has been spending much more time at home, and with Little A. After 18 months of hardly seeing his father, Little is used to having his dad around the house now, and looks for him when he is gone. I am the caregiver, his father is the playmate. Their favourite activity involves my son holding on to his father's hands, climbing up to his chest, then pushing with his feet so that his body is hanging upside-down. This game, repeated endlessly in the evenings, is the source of much laughter and muscle pains.
Sooner rather than later, my husband or I must find a more permanent means of income. This will no doubt involve one of us (Big A, more likely) spending more time away from home and our son. He is older now, but still very much in his formative years, and will certainly suffer some emotional trauma from this change. We will all have to make adjustments and find new ways of maximizing our time together. Until that day comes though, we will enjoy spending all the time we can in each other's company.