The children did not know Levin ... but they did not show towards him any of that strange shyness and hostility children so often feel for grown-up people who 'pretend'.... Pretense about anything whatever may deceive the cleverest and shrewdest of men, but the dullest child will see through it, no matter how artfully it may be disguised.
Tolstoy, Anna Karenina
I knew that when I went back to work I would see less of the girls, and that this would be an adjustment. What I didn't bargain for was my oldest girl completely ignoring me when I was home. She's mad at me, and she lets me know - daily. She doesn't want me to help put her to bed, I'm no longer allowed to share in the nighttime ritual of talking about our favourite parts of the day, and in the morning I'm not allowed to get her up. It has to be Mommy.
As might be imagined, this is crushing for me. Oh, I try to convince myself that it's no big deal. She's just having a hard time adjusting - no surprise with Chloe. But try as I might, I can't help but care a great deal. And of course it shows. I try too hard. I have big colourful greetings for her when I get home (to which she responds by looking at me as though I'm from outer space). I ask her all about her day and tell her how much I've been looking forward to seeing her. I even ask her if she's missed me (I know, pathetic). Who knew I'd need to feel liked so much by my kid. Of course the more I try, the more she calls me on my insincerity - my acting, and the less she wants to do with me.
The best inroads I've been able to make so far have been on the weekends. I tell her first thing Saturday morning that I'm going to be home for the whole weekend and that we'll be able to spend the day together. This slowly melts her heart, and until Monday morning we're friends again. But come Monday.... ah, I guess I'll just have to weather this until it passes.