I just put Alyssa down to sleep. I don't know whether it's better to have some time to myself or not. Today went well. We played together, colored together, and she constantly carried around the Elmo book with her daddy's voice-recorded story. I guess it was at about 5 o'clock that I took the book away from her to tape a piece of cardboard over the buttons. She'd been constantly pushing the buttons, and I was scared it would jack up the recording. When I did this, she started crying immediately. I tried to reassure her that I would give it back just as soon as I was finished, but the crying didn't stop. It didn't stop two minutes later when I gave the book back, either. At that point, she didn't even want the book and kept pushing it away. Then she walked into the kitchen, sat down in the corner and continued to cry. I tried to console her, but she didn't want me to touch her. She just kept pushing me away. So, I decided to give her a few minutes to get it all out, and when I came back she just put her arms up in the air for me to pick her up. I did, but she still didn't stop crying. Then she started saying "Deedee". Whew... it tore my heart out. I couldn't even talk for a minute for fear that I would start crying. I just rubbed her back and hugged her. It's one thing to feel like I have it all under control myself, but it's another to watch tears fall out of my daughter's eyes, knowing she doesn't understand where Daddy is. I felt as if I were doing really well up until this point. I guess I took it for granted that she, being 23 months, wouldn't really pick up on him being gone, and that she'd just adjust. Wrong. She knows, and she's sad.
This is really the first time that I've had to deal with my daughter being truly sad. She is such a happy little girl, and rarely cries. Even if she falls down, as long as I ask "Are you OK?", she'll say "yeah", smile and keep on going. I could tell from her cry today that her little heart was breaking. I swear, I would give anything to take that sadness from her. I can deal with anything, or just about anything, but seeing her cry those little pitiful sobs, and knowing I couldn't do anything really tore me up. I did all I could do. I held her, rubbed her back, kissed her cheek, and talked to her soothingly. Once the crying eased up, we tossed a ball around and played with an etch-a-sketch together. She ate dinner right after this, and seemed to be feeling better, but when we went to do our bedtime routine, I could tell she was thinking of her daddy. He's used to be the one to give her a bath, brush her teeth, and read her a bedtime story. That was their together time. I'm trying to fill those shoes, but I know I can't replace him. I really hope that once we start Skyping she will realize he's not "gone", he's just can't be here.