The Favourite Child
Apparently most parents have a favourite child. We just don’t admit to it. It’s the darkest of all our secrets – the kind of information we should take to our graves. Whenever anyone brings up whether or not we have a favourite child we should respond with outrage at the suggestion. How dare parents have a favourite!?! That’s terrible! Of course we don’t have a favourite.
So, the other day my older kid did something awesome (I can’t even remember what) and the words “You’re my favourite kid” just popped out of my mouth.
My partner heard me and looked at me like I’d just stabbed a bunny.
“No, I mean, favourite boy. You’re my favourite BOY. I don’t have a favourite.”
PHEW. Nice save. Nobody suspects a thing….
The thing is I love them equally, but differently. Because they’re different people. The things I feel for them are different. EQUAL, but different.
My older kid is the one I feel I have the most in common with. We can talk about things that are actually interesting and play games I actually enjoy. Spending time with him, especially one on one time, is genuinely enjoyable. He’s also so easy going, he’s super chilled out, he requires so little of me. He’s also so much like me. Actually, no, he’s so much cooler than I am.
On the other hand I actually feel more closely bonded to my youngest. I spend so much more time focused on her. I worry about her more. She needs me more. She takes up more of my energy, my thoughts, my time, my patience – every single last bit of my patience. We spend a lot more time together (though that’s about to change because she starts school in a few weeks.) She’s also the baby we wanted and tried to have for so long – she’s the baby of my dreams. I loved her for two years before she was even conceived.
I don’t know if I really meant to say he’s my favourite – maybe it was my subconscious was confessing to something I wouldn’t otherwise admit to. But even if he is, even if I do have a favourite kid, as long as I love them the same, and treat them fairly, I don’t see the problem with having a favourite.
Go on, ‘fess up. Do you have a favourite child?