I'm a little embarrased to write this post. The thing is, when the Princess was born, it took me a long time to feel attached to her. A long time. Like, months. I felt incredibly protective of her--I would have thrown myself in front of a train to keep her from getting a paper cut, really. I just didn't feel like I loved her the way I thought people were supposed to love their kids. I didn't have all those goopy, Valentine-y feelings I thought I would have. And I felt like an absolute idiot saying "I love you" to a shrieking four-week-old who couldn't care less about me and who just pooped on my leg.
You see why I am embarrased? What sort of evil hag doesn't love her kids? What if she reads this someday? The therapy bills will be ridiculous.
Things changed, of course. She learned to love me as I learned to love her. Now I tell her I love her a hundred times a day (except on the days she spends screaming in rage because she can't have a cookie--then she only hears it ten times a day). And she reaches out to me with a big drooly smile and likes me better than the King. We've grown on each other.
I never thought there would be so many different ways of being attached to your child. There are the Attachment Parenting people who say you have to be with your baby every minute to grow the feeling between you, and others who think that's just silly. There is Karen, who loves her daughter more than anyone else I know, even though they've never met, and Steve, who's adoptive mother decided he just wasn't good enough after she had a child "of her own."
It's really hard for me to admit that I didn't love the Princess on sight. I thought I would, I really did. I hope she never knows that it took me a while to warm up to her. But I think that it's probably okay, even normal. I may be slow, but I get there eventually, and now I love her more than myself--even on the no-cookie-rage-screaming days. Even when she poops on my leg.