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    Wednesday, October 24, 2007

    My Favorite Kid

    Deb, this is for you, girl. Her question was "Do you have a favorite kid?"

    Do I have a favorite kid? It's an age-old question, asked (mostly to oneself) for decades by parents everywhere. Having never been the favorite kid in my family (until now, ha ha), I always swore I would love each of my children equally, never show favoritism, and banish the word "favorite" from my parental vocabulary. And so far, so good, in general. But there are days...

    Last week one day (not sure which, maybe Thursday), Jackson was DEFINITELY my favorite kid. His sister was doing her level best to drive me to drink by lunch time. Lucky for her I'm not a drinker. While he played contentedly with his toys, never straying from the safety of his room, she was venturing into the bathroom (under the guise of needing "privacy") to create toilet paper mountains and write on the floor with toothpaste. He was happy to eat his snack in his highchair as requested, while she felt the need to smear banana all over the wall, and her feet, and the dog's head. And at bedtime, he sweetly drifted to sleep in my arms, while in the next room she screamed bloody murder for her father, baying woefully about not needing to go to sleep and saying very naughty things about her feelings towards her father and me. I went to bed that night CERTAIN that Jackson was my favorite.

    The next day served to change my mind. And by "day", I mean starting with each hour from 3AM on, when Jackson woke up. Over and over. And whining mercilessly for the boob each time, which he knows he doesn't get until morning. Breakfast - she sat cheerfully and ate her cereal and fruit, even throwing out a "You're the best mom EVER, Mom...". He, meanwhile, was throwing everything on his tray with great gusto. Taking the sippy and food away instead of returning them to the tray brought screams of protest from the formerly-favorite-titleholder. Samantha then wanted to draw, and spent a great amount of time making me a picture of a mommy spider and all her spider babies, singing sweetly as she drew ... while Jackson whined at my leg, even after being held for 15 minutes, dumped the dog water all over the kitchen floor, and stole crayons off the table to have for a snack. THOSE he'll eat instead of throwing. And no nap for Jackson this day, just screaming in his bed after 1/2 hour of rocking. Meanwhile Samantha was more than willing to lay down for rest time and stay there through the whole movie, never moving except to say "Mommy, I need to go potty", which she then promptly did and then returned to her designated spot. Such a perfect girl, this child. Surely she is my favorite.

    And the next day, they trade again, proving to me that they are having meetings behind my back to decide who is graying Mommy's hair on any given day. I'm sure of it. And when I catch them, I'm going to put a stop to it. I think gender segregation is a great idea in this house, because they are in cahoots, I have decided, and I think they intend to keep it up for a great while.

    So honestly, they are both my favorites. He's my favorite son, and she's my favorite daughter. There are so many things I adore about each of them. They each give me joy in completely different, but equally significant ways. When I was pregnant with Samantha, I worried (even worrying in writing) a lot about whether or not I could love Jackson as much as I loved Samantha. I thought my heart was so full of adoration for this "perfect" baby girl that I would never find enough love in my heart to love another as much. But as much as I have a beautiful strong mother-daughter bond with my girl, this sweet boy has stolen my heart and touched me in a way I never could have foreseen. As I have written before, love is a funny thing — when you divide it, it doesn't become less, it grows.

    I wonder, had I bore two girls, or two boys, if I wouldn't have found myself comparing them more, or secretly liking one more than the other. It's certainly a common enough phenomenon amongst same-sex siblings (ask my husband, the "less-favored" son). A part of me was secretly SO relieved to have one of each, because it meant I would still get to call Samantha my "best girl", and would now be able to have a "best boy" as well.

    As usual, things work out how they are supposed to. I love having a boy and a girl, and it affords me the opportunity to call them each "my favorite" and mean it.

    Great question, Deb. Thanks! Who else has one for me?


    herself75 said...

    of course they have to take turns! they wear themselves out with all of that screaming and flinging of food!

    poor mama!

    what are your hobbies? - other than blogging of course...

    Deb said...

    Once again, reminding me why you are one of my favorite moms in the world.

    Beautifully put.

    Kae said...


    You're such a great mother Cathy!!