Thursday, June 21, 2012

Preferential Treatment

It's well known that children go through phases, and my kids are certainly not immune.

We had the tractor phase, the Mickey Mouse phase, the train phase, the dinosaur phase and most recently the hunter/"outdoorsman" phase, and each time the phase has overstayed its welcome and I've been grateful to wave it goodbye and usher in a new era of obsession.

The last few weeks, however, have dragged us through the "Mommy vs. Daddy" phase, and while it does provide a bit of an ego boost to the preferred parent, it makes the other feel like second choice.  And I guess that's fitting because, in fact, we are.

You see, Cael is ALL about Daddy these days.  When Joel is at home they are attached at the hip; Cael follows Daddy around with a decade-old decommissioned cell phone and pretends to be involved with his "work" and has taken a liking to any food, television program or extra-curricular activity that Daddy deems worthy.

But when I make a move to hold his hand-- oh, how all hell breaks loose. 

"Mommy!  I don't want to hold your hand!  I'm a MAN like Daddy!  Daddy doesn't need you to walk him to the car!"

"Mommy, I'm going to take a shower all by myself!  And I'm going to wash my hair and my tummy and then I'm going to drive to WalMart and do something with Daddy."

"See?  I don't need you Mommy."

Ouch.  I have to keep reminding myself that it's not personal, and it's not permanent.  Besides, if the kid has to be enamored with someone, I guess I should be grateful that he's modeling after his Dad and not someone with lesser values or even worse boundary issues than Cael already exhibits.

The good part of this debacle is that Graham, in contrast to Cael, is hooked on Mommy.  All day long he tells me of his undying "wuv" for me and begs for "squeezy hugs" while dousing me with slobbery kisses.  And as much as I appreciate his affections, I'm feeling desperate for some personal space again and a few early morning moments not spent with a toddler pressing a urine-soaked diaper up against my side because he refused Joel's offer to change it.

But even the sleepless mornings and exhausting grocery trips are worth it when that tiny boy looks at me with eyes that shine with nothing but love.

"I wuv you, Mommy."

"You wook wike a princess, Mommy!"

"Can I has big, BIG hugs and tisses?  Because I fink you're perfect, Mommy."

So while I'm bothered that my oldest only has eyes for Daddy, I can still bask in the glow of Graham's affections. 

And that's better than tractors, trains or dinosaurs any day.


  1. awww....they are too cute (and funny!) Raya has always been a HUGE mama's girl. I feel bad for Lee because she's not at all shy to tell him so haha. Brielle is much more a daddy's'll be interesting to see how it all plays out!

    1. At least it's divided so there isn't an odd parent out. Although on second though, that parent might have the last laugh after all... :)

  2. AAAWWWWWWWW!!!!!! So cute!!! :) My daughter has always been my mother's pet,sometimes preferring her to me,like when shez upset or sad,it leaves me a trifle bit sad sometimes, but I guess she loves me too!?? :)

    1. I'm sure she does!! But I know what you mean-- when Cael wails because I just wanted to hug him, it does make your heart hurt a bit! I'm still pretty sure that one or both of them will be major Momma's boys at some point...


Leave your own "ism". Cael and Graham double-dog dare you.