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Monday, September 10, 2007

Missing Her Daddy

I wasn't sure how Kayla would react to Joe being gone. He was gone for 6 wks before, but she was only 22 months then. We spent part of that time with my mom in Maryland and then in Denmark to visit relatives. So this is the first time where it has really just been us in the same environment without Joe.

She is definitely missing him and realizes he isn't around...especially in the evening when she's used to him coming home from work.

On Thursday night when he called us from Maine she was able to talk to him on the phone. From the time we hung up the phone until she went to bed all I heard was "daddy home?" in this sad little voice. That was pretty much all she would say and no matter what answer I gave her, what I tried to tell her, she would respond back with "daddy home?"

That evening when I shut the front door she came running down the hall after me saying, "no mommy! no door shut!" and opened it back up, then stood there looking out saying "daddy home?"

At least once a day I'll hear "daddy home?" and I'll have to tell her, "no Kayla, remember daddy went bye bye?" and she'll say "airplane, bus."

She likes looking at his picture on the computer and we recorded Joe reading a few books to her so that helps.

Yesterday when I showed her the pictures of Joe I found from when he was in Maine she was so excited "Daddy! Hi daddy!" We looked at them later and she was trying to have a conversation with him "Hi daddy, har you? (it means either how are you or where are you, but in this context I'm sure it was how are you) followed by "a doin'?" (what are you doing?) and she just sat on my lap looking at his picture, smiling, and saying hi to her daddy.

Our bedrooms face the front of the house. When you look out Kayla's window you see Joe's truck parked right in front. She was on her bed looking out the window yesterday and I heard this excited voice yell, "daddy home! daddy home!" Then I had to burst her bubble. "No baby, daddy's not home yet."

Last night she was playing on the couch with 2 mugs from her kitchen set and having tea. I heard her say "want some daddy? here daddy, for you" Then she ran to the front door with the mugs and kept saying, "daddy for you."

I tried to capture her on video, but by the time I brought the camera over there she had realized the mugs were making shadows on the door in the fading sunlight. It has been a while since I've posted a Kayla video, so here it is.

This morning I sat down on one end of the couch and she told me, "no mommy! daddy couch" - yes I sat down where Joe usually sits on the couch! Shame on me for sitting in his spot! She made me get up too the little stinker :)

Joe made her a little video clip and she definitely enjoyed seeing that this morning!

I just wish there was some way I could make her understand how long he'll be gone for so she doesn't have to ask every day "daddy home?" I thought about having us mark an X on the calendar every day and we'll probably do that, but I'm not really sure if she would understand that.

Besides missing her daddy I think she's doing pretty well adjusting.

post signature

52 comments:

Tiff said...

Delurking with an idea:
Buy a pretty candy jar. Buy hersheys kisses. If you know the EXACT days of the deployment count out that many hersheys kisses and put them in the jar. Each day let Kayla take one out. (after dinner or after school) That way she has something visable to her. And something for her to look foward too each day. As the kisses dwindle explain (to the best of your ability) that when they are all gone Daddy will be home!
Just my two cents.
We've done the deployments a few times. Now my husband is civlilian but deployed also. My kids are older now tho so they understand an actual date on the calander. I'll see what other ideas I can come up w/ for you.

~Melissa~ said...

Oh how sweet and heartbreaking. That has got to be so hard for you also! I love the Hershey kiss idea!

Sara said...

awww it is so hard when they dont understand...Hopefully the time will go by fast...

A Special Family said...

Oh Michelle, I'm thinking of you all and hope that Kayla is able to begin to understand a little more as the time goes on!
(((BIG HUGS)))

Karen said...

Awwww, she's so adorable and this made me feel so emotional. My daughter misses me if I go shopping without her, it blows me away. A fresh day here in NZ, and I guess you guys will be getting ready for bed now. May you have a peaceful night and a wonderful day filled with new ideas and laughter tomorrow.

Tara said...

I've thought so much about you and Kayla this past weekend. It's got to be so hard trying to explain to Kayla "daddy's not home yet". I'm keeping you in my prayers - and hoping Kayla begins to understand more as time goes along. Wow - you are a strong family!

Kari said...

You've got me all choked up here! I hated having to tell my kids that their daddy wasn't home and wouldn't be home for X amount of days. Sometimes, they just don't understand. Heck, sometimes the MOMMY'S just don't understand, either! lol

Omaha Mama said...

Oh so sweet. I love that video! She is a darling. I'm so sad for her, missing her daddy. It is going to make for one sweet homecoming, that's for sure! Glad that he's been able to keep in touch, that sure is nice.

Miranda said...

awww...that makes me all misty eyed. I imagine she misses her Daddy a lot!

Jen said...

It has to be hard for her or for any child. Those girls love their daddies.....Madison loves hers....Miller watched Kayla's video with me....he kept saying where daddy? So cute.
Hope things get better.

Shannon **Gabi's Mom** said...

Hey I think Tiff has an awesome idea as long as you can keep her from eating more than the one a day.

So sorry Kayla that Daddy has to be away right now!

LauraJ said...

awww...she misses her daddy!
can you make a daddy and kayla photo album just for her? also a big picture with the two of them for her dresser? ummm i dont know what else...i like the hershey's kisses idea!

Jessica said...

Awwww, give Kayla a hug from me!

Kathleen Marie said...

Awww... It must be so hard for you both. You are in my prayers. The technology today is so wonderful. When Larry was in Viet Nam you prayed a letter would get through and when they did they were a month late.

Hugs!

ChupieandJ'smama said...

Oh that breaks my heart! Poor little Kayla. I hate that she has to miss her Daddy. HUGS to you both!

Carrie! :o) said...

Oh my goodness. This breaks my heart. I've seen my children go trough the same thing and my momma heart is so sad. We always make paper chains for the countdown. It's kept in the living room and it really does help. (((Hugs)))

Beck said...

Oh, I am so sorry. That is just so sad and hard. I like the Hershey Kiss idea - that's really smart.

Anonymous said...

Hi Michelle,
I came upon your blog through another DS blog, and have been following your story about Joe's deployment. I am a social worker, and former preschool teacher, and realize that children under the age of 5 do not have the capacity to understand abstract concepts like TIME, especially over a 4 month period.
I "googled" and found these links that address these issues in toddlers/preschoolers:

http://www.iprimus.ca/~tmheath/3bropreschool.html

http://parenting.ivillage.com/gs/gsfamdynamics/0,,p65s-1,00.html

http://www.nmfa.org/site/PageServer?pagename=books_for_children

I liked the link with the 8 ways to help your child cope

Anything that will help Kayla "count" the days,(Kisses idea is GREAT)
mark off the days,(on a calendar) and/or make "gifts" for her daddy will help her.
I really LOVED the "love chain" idea. Making a daily paper chain link that highlights an accomplishment or event in her day....when daddy comes home, she can present him with her wonderful "welcome" home gift.
I also liked the idea of reading age appropriate books about deployment (I'm such a "book" person)

You and Joe already did some of the suggestions in the articles, like taping him read stories to her, taking pictures together, T-shirt on a pillow to hug, etc...

It's really good (healthy) that she is "playing" tea party with her Daddy. Keeping him in her daily experiences...Way to go, Kayla!

Kayla really is such a sweetie, and you are such a loving Momma :)and Joe such a loving Daddy :)
You've really touched my heart and I felt compelled to reach out to you.

I am not a military family,so I don't really know what you are going through first hand. I can only imagine how difficult it must be for you and for Kayla. Since you live on a military base I'm hoping that there is some support for both you and Kayla in dealing with Joe's deployment during these months. You seem to have a wonderful network of blogging friends and great supportive and loving family.

Michelle, my thoughts and prayers are with you, Kayla, Joe, and your soon to be new baby

Cindy said...

Oh, that sweet girl. I'm praying for you, for wisdom in helping her! What about a paperchain countdown? (Although the Kisses sound WAY yummier to me!) :)

Dori (Aviva's mommy) said...

Awww sending lots of hugs for both of you.

Christina said...

Awwwww.....I think the idea with something with a calendar is a good one. Sorry she is missing her daddy right now and I am praying for the time to pass quickly!

PEA said...

Oh gosh, that has to be so hard, trying to make her understand he won't be home for a while yet...it brought tears when I read how she asks for him. I love tiff's idea of the Hershey Kisses! xox

Kerry said...

She is such an adorable girl - my heart just broke reading your post. It will hopefully be 4 SHORT months..

Joy said...

I totally cried when I read how she got excited to see his truck. Heartbreaking!

I think I'm gonna steal that Hershey kiss idea. I've been debating about doing a chain but candy seems more fun!

Tracey said...

I think Tiff has some great ideas. Especially the kisses from Daddy. Sweet... I was definitely thinking about you this weekend. Trying to keep in perspective when Patrick's not home for the night, to not get upset as easily as I know that lots of people have it WAY harder than I. How are you doing? I can't imagine the hormones of pregnancy with a 4 year old alone. Hang in there...

Much More Than A Mom said...

Aw, the poor kid. I love tiff's idea!

Corey~living and loving said...

awwwwwwwwwwwwwww...your sweet girl made me feel teary for her. I really hope she lightens up on her asking about daddy. That has to be hard on you too.

hugs!

Catch said...

The video is so cute....Im sure she misses her Daddy so much..I think the hershey kisses in the jar sound like a good idea! The pictures of Joe are so good! he has such a great smile!! And the picture of your tummy is so cute!!! I know your really going to miss Joe, but at least you have Kayla to keep you company! And she is such a pleasant little girl, she will keep your spirits up! Hugs!

Patriot said...

How cute! I'm praying for her daddy and those like him every day!

Christina said...

Oh that is so sweet. I am sorry she is missing her daddy so. A friend of mine, her hubby is a marine, and just got back fr 9 months in Afghanistan. She had a doll made of him (no wodoo) justa pic of his face and then the uniform, I guess you can get it fr military company. I can ask her where she got it if you want.
Hugs to Kayla fr Vince

jotcr2 said...

That is really precious.

Mommatude said...

That made me cry-that was heartbreaking.Oooooh that Hershey kisses idea is a great one!!!

Sgt and Mrs Hub said...

I hear ya! That really was a tough part of Daniel being deployed. Helping Eve to understand the length of his absence. The Hershey Kiss idea is fantastic! The best I've heard. I did the paper chain - ripping one off a day, but I couldn't start it until about two months out because it was too overwhelming for me and her.

It breaks my heart to hear children asking for their Daddies. It really, really does. I'll pray for wisdom and lots of healthy distractions for you both!

-Andrea

Jodi said...

Tiff's kisses idea is a great one!

My kids were little like that when my husband left for a month to go to the olympics. It is hard to explain to them.

I hope she gets to see lots of daddy pics and videos to tide her over.

Alycia said...

Oh, my neighbor has done the Kisses from Daddy also! Another thing we have done during deployments is a prayer chain ~for each day he is gone ~ you make a link and write out a prayer. It could be simple for her age and as each day begins or ends, she tears a link off and eventually she will see the chain getting smaller. It was fun for my boys. I am lifting you up in prayer. Blessings

Robin said...

Poor baby. I love the hershey kiss idea. Maybe even paste a phone of him in the bottom of the jar so when it gets closer she can start to "see" him.
You and Kayla are in my prayers.

chelle said...

aww I have tears in my eyes. Poor Kayla, it would be so hard to understand. Poor you. Being reminded all the time and having to repeat it is hard, even when you just want to make it better. HUGS!

All moments remembered said...

I found your blog from Nancy heart of a family. Kayla is just beautiful!!! I can only imagine how hard it is for both of you to not have daddy home! My two little ones can hardly sleep if daddy is out of town for one night. I hope the time goes by fast so Kayla can have daddy home quick!! You have a wonderful site and I can tell you blog with lots of love!!

Leslie said...

This just broke my heart. Big hugs to Kayla (Clee-uh as Jack calls her!)

T*mmy said...

I cannot comprehend what you are going through...

Prayers all around!!
(((hugs)))

Anonymous said...

I love to see Kayla videos!

Hang in there!

~Rachael & Anna

Jeff and Michelle said...

Oh, it breaks my heart to hear how often she says Daddy home? What a sweetie. I think the idea I see here about putting the kisses in the candy jar is a great idea!
Michelle

S. said...

Thank goodness for those who have BTDT with good advice. great ideas here. My thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult time, I just hope it passes quickly for you all. and once again, WTG Kayla with the talking--she is an inpsiration.

Overwhelmed! said...

Oh, I'm sorry Kayla's struggling with Joe being gone, but that's to be expected.

I'm about to leave tomorrow for a 10 day business trip to Las Vegas and I'm dreading it! Snuggle Bug struggles with the idea of how long I'll be gone and if I'm coming back.

I love the Hershey kiss idea too!

Renee's Ramblings said...

How sweet and heart breaking. My heart just goes out to all of you. I really like the ideal about the hershey kisses though! Will keep you all in my thoughts and prayers. Take care!

Susie Q said...

Oh Michelle..poor sweet angle. Poor Mommy too! It is so hard...
I have seen stickers on calendars...for all the days until Daddy comes home.I love the idea of Hershey Kisses...that might be a great plan!

Deployment stinks doesn't it?

We are so proud but that still doe not always make it easier!

Hugs,
Sue

Killlashandra said...

W.W. Dad didn't go quite so far, however when he was trying out the ranch jobs all over the state of new mexico W.W. made comments like Kayla's all the time too. "Where daddy?" When he was gone for several months W.W. started transferring daddy to pictures of cowboys and any other male with a cowboy hat. "That daddy?" Made me sad. It's so difficult at times.

I like kisses idea too. :)

Kari said...

This post pulled at my heart strings!! When I was a young girl My Daddy was ALWAYS away on business and being a Daddy's girl it broke my heart. I would try counting down the days whether she understands right now or not eventually she will understand. ((Sending Kayla hugs)) From a fellow Daddy's girl.

The Rocking Pony said...

How touching! We'll be praying for her (and you). It's so hard when they don't understand.

Mrs. Mac said...

Joe will be home before you know it. I'll add him to my prayers that he returns safely. My hubby will have been "away" from us for about two years when he retires next May. He does get up to our new retirement home for two weeks about every two or three months ... to help ease the separation I let Nathan (age 11) spray on a bit of his daddy's aftershave every time he takes a bath or heads off to school 'to smell like daddy' ... he loves this routine.

mum2brady said...

Michelle - thinking of you and sweet Kayla. Praying that things will go well for Joe, that he will be protected and that Kayla will understand that is gone, but is coming home eventually! I think the Hershey's kiss idea is wonderful!!!

Sending big hugs your way!!!

Conny said...

What a neat video of beautiful Kayla, but also heartbreaking! Hopefully time will fly very very fast!!!!