…can someone please explain that to my children?
Don’t worry, this isn’t a post about a preference for one of my two kids. That would be pretty brutal wouldn’t it? It would draw some views for the shock factor, sure, but no – it’s not me who’s displaying the signs of favouritism, it’s our girls.
In fairness, we do have an incredibly diplomatic four year old. From a very young age, when asked her favourite in ANY given situation (cereal, TV shows, clothes, friends, parents), you can see the cogs turning as she carefully answers ‘ I love them both the same’. She’ll go far that one.
That said, she is a proper Mummy’s girl. Or rather, we have such a strong bond, it’s so outwardly visible to everyone; and no one more than her Daddy. They have a special relationship, for sure, but nine times out of ten, it’s Mummy she wants to read to her, to tuck her in, or to be with her in those times we need to split off to different places.
Her sister however, given the choice, would seem to want to switch her stay-at-home-Mummy for a stay-at-home-Daddy any day of the week. She sobs every day as he leaves the house, and cries out for him on and off each day. We can’t walk in the front door without her rushing to the stairs, calling up in hope he is working from home. Every. Single. Time.
With each of the girls, it’s their respective ‘favourite’ they cry for when they are hurt, upset or scared. Occasionally switching it up when they have been told off, and seeking the ‘good cop parent’ for comfort.
Of course, they both are happiest when we are together as a unit, and they absolutely adore both their parents. It’s just strange how they are drawn like magnets to different poles. Interestingly, their looks follow the opposite pattern – each clings to the parent that they least mirror in appearance, but personalities seem to align.
We probably aren’t helping the situation by encouraging the allegiances. It’s so much easier to let my husband deal with the Mouse, who plays up so much more for me whilst crying for Daddy, and I can negotiate with our eldest like a pro, yet she really knows how to push Daddies buttons. If Tigs has a party, it’s me who’ll take her – leaving the sub-team back home. Likewise with food shopping, gymnastics and swimming. It’s too easy, because it works. We probably need to think less about practicalities sometimes, and getting shit done – and more time being present – playing and having fun.
But, this is probably due to this given moment in time – Tigs just started school so is suddenly away from Mum more than ever (whilst Dad time is unchanged). The Mouse, she’s never been without boring old Mummy, who drags her around the shops (and endless toddler groups and soft play I might add), occasionally pops her in front of the TV while she does jobs, and tries constantly to feed her food she does not want. Daddy on the other hand, he’s a total legend; the one she bounces off the walls with. Her soul mate.
On the rare occasion I am away from the Mouse for any given time, I do get a pretty lovely reception on my return; one almost as lovely as Daddies daily fanfare. It will be interesting to see how the dynamics change, as time brings about new stages; nursery, school, maybe even a job for Mummy.
Ultimately, I’m glad we both get to feel so incredibly loved by one each at this point in time – providing we share the love back to both children evenly, and actively encourage a little bit of a mix up at times. After all, there’s nothing new in being a Daddy’s girl? A Mummy’s boy? It’s surely inevitable that any given set of individuals should form different relationships and affinities for one another? We are all getting to spend quality time individually as well as as a family, and allowing their personalities to flourish. It just so happens that we like singing to disney songs, while they like kicking a ball around in the garden. But that’s okay.
Plus, we are both kinda grateful to not have a child clinging to each leg when the other is around to offer a hand. A problem halved and all that…
And like every other parenthood quandary – nothing stays stationary for long.
This post originally featured on www.meetothermums.com blogsquad