When I leave for work in the morning, Maxfield usually asks me not to go. He'll say things like "read me a book" or "stay and watch TV with me" or "wrestle with me."
My response for the most part is "when I get home" or "Mommy can do that with you" and the exchange lasts 30 seconds and I leave the house without incident.
Over the past 6 weeks Maxfield has sensed there is something "wrong" in our house. I think he can feel the stress that both Lauren and I have been feeling. Since December 2 Lauren and I have been tag team parenting. One of us would walk in the door and the other would walk out the door to go to the hospital or to get shopping done or to handle other family obligations. The stress that Max feels has been manifesting itself in more temper tantrums and more "accidents" of wetting himself. Now that our house has settled down somewhat, he is doing much better.
Two weeks ago, I was leaving for work and Max asked me not to go. He begged me to stay. I gave him my usual answers but they were not good enough.
"Daddy, I don't want you to go. Stay with me. Please."
"I can't pal."
He put his arms around my neck. "Daddy. Please stay and play with me."
As I hugged him I sat on the couch with him and I rocked back and forth a bit. I slowly pried his arms from me and I said "I can't Max. I will play when I get home."
Max started to cry. He had never done this before. He was not crying from a tantrum. These were not angry tears. He was crying from sadness.
"But I don't want you to go daddy. I want you to stay with me." He said as he wiped away tears. "Please stay here and take care of me."
"Max I can't." I said as I hugged him.
He hugged me back tight and his requests became more intense. "Daddy, I am going to miss you. Please stay with me. Don't go. I need you."
"I gotta go Max."
"I want you stay, Daddy. I will miss you."
This exchange lasted 5 to 10 minutes.
Looking back, I realize that Max sensed something, I don't know what, but something. Because a few hours later I was using Max's words and saying the exact same thing.