The other day I shared with you some of Big C’s thoughts on being a military brat.  And I realized that I didn’t even attempt to ask my 3-year-old daughter her opinions on the subject.  I guess I figure she’s too young, that she doesn’t understand enough to even have thoughts about military life.  But lately I’m realizing that she DOES have thoughts about her daddy being gone.  She just doesn’t have the ability to verbalize them.

Little C is an energetic, funny, affectionate, stubborn little girl.  And when she gets in a bad mood, you better leave the room because there’s no negotiating with her.  Unfortunately, it seems that lately she’s in a bad mood all the time.  And I can’t help but wonder if this is her way of expressing those thoughts about her father being gone.
For the past month, every now and then Little C would call out for her daddy at home when she was tired or upset.  But now she’s starting to scream for him at school.  When I was picking her up the other day, I could hear, “I want my daddy back!!!!!” before I even turned the corner of the hallway to her classroom.  The teacher couldn’t calm her down, and only after a 5 minute bear hug with me did she stop sobbing.
Little C has also started begging to sleep with me, something Miss Independence has never done.  We cuddle in my bed before we head over to her room for lights out every night, but lately she’s been asking for sleepovers.  Last night she asked again, but I said no because she slept with me once last week and I don’t want it to become a habit.  She miraculously went to her own bed without a fight.  But an hour later when I went to check on the kids, her bed was empty.  Surprised, I tiptoed over to my room.  Sure enough, there she was, cuddled under my covers, sleeping soundly on her Dora pillow.
And now as I write this, she is crying in her room after slamming her door in anger.  I’ve learned from experience to give her a few minutes to calm down before trying to console her.  She is screaming for her daddy again.
Big C never behaved like this, and I’m at a loss as to what I should do, how I should handle her.  I keep telling her that her daddy will be coming home soon, but 3-year-olds have no concept of the word soon.  It breaks my heart.
Have your military brats acted like this before?  What did you do to help them through it?  What are some other ways you have helped your children cope with military life?


9 Comments on My Other Military Brat: I Want My Daddy Back

  1. Awww 🙁 I want to give Little C a hug (if she'd let me!).

    We don't have any little military brats yet and I am wondering how they will react when Dad goes away. It is something I think about a lot and I know my husband does too.

    I hope things calm down soon.

  2. it's so hard when they're away. One thing I did with Krysta, is schedule as many play dates and outings as possible. We had our "routine" which seemed to help and we also made a countdown chart which kept her in a positive frame of mind, if only for a little while. When she seemed like she was having a hard time, we packed up and went to a bookstore, a walk, the park, etc.

  3. This is what I dread most. My KB is only 7 months old, but she is already showing little signs of realizing when Daddy leaves. He is a submariner and has only been home with us for two separate months since she was born. Since he left two weeks ago, she won't allow me to leave the room, even if I am still in her line of sight. She wasn't like that before he was home with us for a month. I really wonder if she is afraid that Mommy will leave, too. He is about to be home with us for 3 years without going to sea, and I am so afraid of how she will deal with his first deployment after these 3 years.

  4. This just breaks my heart! I hate it!!!! They really don't understand "why" daddy has to be gone. They don't get that "it's their job". My 3yr old acts out like yours when she is super tired and at bed time. She has gotten to dependant upon sleeping with someone too. Either myself, or my 8yr old daughter. My 3yr old has bunkbeds in her room, but my 8yr can't sleep on the top bunk, she HAS to sleep right beside her. Every night I tell myself I'm going to break this habit, but then another melt down comes on, and I just don't want to deal with it.

    It really breaks my heart that our children have to go through this! I asked my 3yr old the same question too, and her answer is posting on my blog tomorrow. She actually answered it in a form of a song. She best expresses herself that way!

    Sending hugs your way for ALL of you!

  5. I have an almost 3-year old. She was 2 during last year's deployment, and barely talking at the beginning of it, so she seemed to handle it well, and only occasionally asked for Daddy. He returned last July and has been home since then… until 3 weeks ago when he left for training. Since then she has been almost out of control. She didn't talk about him the 1st week, but has become extremely violent toward her little brother, attacking him constantly, and even talking about "taking him in the woods and killing him." I do NOT know where that comes from, so I am blaming it on Daddy's absence. I have tried firm, consistent discipline, but it is having no effect and making me feel bad. She sometimes says, "I'm sad because Daddy left me to go to work." It seems to help a little when we talk about Daddy fighting bad guys to keep her safe. And we put stickers on a chart to count down the days. Thankfully he returns in a week, but only for a little while. Then we have a 7-month deployment to get through, and if it is anything like this, I am truly scared!

  6. Hi! Thank you for following, I'm a follower back! I love this military wife blog. I'm so sorry to hear about your little one. We've been through 2 deployments so far and it's not easy. Both my boys handled it fairly well so I didn't have to go through melt downs or anything. I did let them sleep with me though :/ Ahhh well, the habit was broken as soon as Daddy got home!

  7. This is one of the worst parts of deployment. I hate it and it breaks my heart. My 3yo has pretty much been sleeping with me for the past six months. I have spent the last week getting her back into her own bed, but she always shows up around 3am.
    Yesterday, she spent most of her day packing, so she could go to Iraq with daddy. I had a hard time not crying 🙁

  8. I totally feel your pain! My daughter was ok the first couple Months of deployment. We moved back home during the deployment hoping to make it easier on me. Well that wasn't quite the case. I don't get a lot of help and it's just hard not having my own house and living under there grandparents rules which basically mean they can do whatever! Anyway she was ok until R&R came and went and she has been acting so bad! My daughter is also 3. She aggervates her 1yr old brother to the point where someone usually he's hurt. Every night she does something she isn't suppose to like for instance last night took all her clothes out the drawers and put them all over her bed! Night before she put lotion all over her hair and bed, night before it was Vicks vapor rip and Chapstick in her hair! Ya I don't know what's going on . She won't listen to me and if I put her in timeout she screams I want daddy I want to go home, the whole time! Everytime she gets fussed at she says I want daddy. Which is funny because he usually is the punisher! I'm lost an don't know what to do! I have breakdowns constantly and my parents could careless if I needed a break. I never get one! I will nevertheless
    Home again during deployment because I don't have he support or activities like on post.

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