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by Abigail Van Buren

Mom's Baby Talk Puts Down Daddy

DEAR ABBY: My wife and I have been together for 10 years. Like all couples do, we've had our ups and downs, but we love each other very much. Two months ago, we welcomed our first son into our family; we are overjoyed.

Raising a newborn has its challenges because babies don't come with an owner's manual. Our communication has always been good, and we work hard in our relationship to keep it that way. When we disagree, we try not to fight in front of the baby or raise our voices.

But something my wife does bothers me. She talks about me to the baby. An example: "Apparently you're too stressful for Daddy right now, but not for me." I have asked her to please not do it. I understand that he's only 2 months old and can't understand her, but I don't feel disparaging me in front of him is right. Am I wrong? Or am I being overly sensitive? -- NEEDS HELP IN NEW YORK

DEAR NEEDS HELP: I don't think you're being overly sensitive. It is important for an infant's development that the parents talk to him or her. While your baby may be too young to understand what's being said right now, your wife is forming a habit that both of you may regret later. It implies that she is the "good mommy" and you are the "bad daddy" who can't deal with his son. If this continues, at some point the boy WILL get the message, and it won't be good for the relationship you have with her or the one you have with your son.

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