Tonight, before her bath, we made the mistake of telling Ivie that after she went to bed, Dale was going to have to leave for a late-dinner meeting with his boss, who is here traveling with him this week. The intent was to speed up the bedtime process, since Dale needed to leave the house at 7:25p.
Should have known better.
Ivie started sobbing. And I don't mean just whimpering for attention. I mean full-out sobbing, so utterly sad that her daddy was leaving, even though if we hadn't told her she wouldn't have even known. I heard the crying from Macie's room as I was putting her to bed and Dale was finishing up with Ivie in her bath. Then, after she had her pj's on, Ivie came into Macie's room, still sobbing uncontrollably about her daddy leaving.
I comforted her, giving her a hug and telling her that Daddy would be back while she was sleeping. But it wasn't doing any good. As she walked back into Dale's outstretched arms for another hug, she just kept saying, "Daddy, are you going to be sad and cry at your meeting?". Thinking (wrongly, it turns out) that yes was the appropriate answer, Dale said, "Yes, Ivie, I'm going to be sad when I leave you.". Which only made her cry more, saying, "Daddy, I don't want you to be sad!!!". Sob, sob, sob.
It was a no-win situation. But, for some reason, I couldn't help but find it amusing. She was being so dramatic! In fact, I think she even saw me laughing behind her back. Resulting in more sobbing. When I finished feeding Macie and left her room, Ivie's door was open and I could hear her crying downstairs. Turns out that when Dale left, she had ventured out of her room, gone downstairs, and was sitting at the front door. Still sobbing, she had her nose pressed up against the pane of the full-length window as she watched him drive away.
Later, as I snuggled with her in her chair reading her favorite "I Spy" books, she looked at me and said, "I miss my daddy SOOOOOOO MUCH!".
Dale feigned sadness (at her utter despair) when I told him the end of the story upon his return home. I could see right through it, though. He was gleaming with pride. He's hoping like crazy that she's turning into a daddy's girl. I'm still not entirely convinced, but I must admit that this might qualify as a tiny step in that direction...