It's the sound of my heart starting to break. Wyatt is currently napping and he - in his sleep - just said, "I want my daddy. Peez, my daddy! Mommy, my daddy! Peez, I want my daddy!"
I'm fully aware we are not the first family to deal with separation, nor are we having to deal with it for a particularly long time (as far as military life can go) and it's certainly not the last time we'll deal with it. However, we are dealing with it and these past couple of days it just sucks. My sweet boy has been replaced with a poorly sleeping, whiny, irritable, cries-at-the-drop-of-a-hat, misbehaving, purposely-doing-naughty-things boy. Every little thing makes him cry - no, make that wail - for his daddy. He finds innocuous things offensive: the fact that cheese from the refrigerator is cold, the chiquita sticker on our bananas, me not letting him watch tv, me letting him watch tv, the sun being too bright, etc.
It's as though the longevity of Jeff's departure has started to hit home with him. He doesn't really understand it. There's no rationale that can make him really get it. We see Jeff every day via Skype - thank God - but Wyatt has developed a habit of being "too busy" to talk to Jeff. When I suggest that maybe he tell Jeff what we've been doing or show him what he's playing with, he literally says, "no, I busy doing this" and turns his back to the camera. In all fairness, he did manage to converse with Jeff this morning. In fact, when Jeff told us he needed to go to bed, Wyatt read him a couple of bedtime stories. But still.
Thankfully Grandma is coming next week and Aunt Susan will be here, too. Both will be welcome additions to our house for the duration of their visits. But February looms. I'm honestly not looking for pity because 90% of my readers deal with this exact thing in their own lives for the same reasons, and some of you deal with it far more often than I've ever had to. I just needed to get this out and also share that I am developing another whole level of respect for anyone who is a single parent or who has to be one more often than they'd choose.
I have a steep learning curve ahead of me on how to get him through this successfully and without me losing my mind. And if anyone has tried and true suggestions for helping a two-year old cope, I'd like to hear them. We haven't made the paper chain countdown thing yet because I'm worried the shear quantity of rings remaining would be daunting to us both. Suggestions?