Parental Preferences

NaNoWriMo Day 7 Word Count:12,052

“Let’s finish breakfast so we can do our history lesson!” I said to the kids this morning. “We’re going to read about mummies today!”

“No, not mommies,” my two-year-old said. “Read book about daddies!”

This isn’t the only time my son has expressed a preference for his father (and fathers in general) in recent weeks. Last week, he fell down and hurt his bottom and cried. I picked him and cuddled him and he shouted, “I want Daddy!”

I remember this stage with my daughter. And I also know that most of the time, the kids are shouting for me and leaving my husband out of the equation. A couple of requests don’t nearly give him equal time. It’s still strange the first couple of times it happens, especially when it happens while I’m trying to comfort my crying child with cuddles and Mommy-love, which, up to now, have been all he’s needed in any situation.

I try not to feel rejected because it’s not a rejection. I know my husband and I offer different things to our children. My son is figuring that out now, and that he has some choice in which person he gets.

I’m glad that he sees both of his parents as people who can offer him comfort.

And that he’s occasionally really funny when he expresses his preference.

5 comments

  1. Zoie @ TouchstoneZ · November 7, 2011

    Since you’re wondering “wrote started” is the proper phrase. I’d suggest you look it up, but you’re much smarter than I and probably already knew this was the proper phrase.

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  2. Zoie @ TouchstoneZ · November 7, 2011

    Yup, sometimes it’s mom and sometimes it’s dad. I have to catch myself when I react like it’s a rejection and remember how he must feel when it’s mom 99% of the time. Or maybe it doesn’t bother him like it doesn’t a mom because of the whole mom-should-be-primary mentality I hold onto?

    And I wrote started this comment then was pounced on by 3 kids and now must sleep. Whatever else I was going to write was undoubtedly earth stillingly placid

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    • CJ · November 8, 2011

      I was going to write a detailed reply, but I wrote stopped because it’s past bedtime, and I’ve been writing more than I intended already (on NaNo and blog posts, which is a nice problem but still results in sleeplessness).

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  3. Stacy · November 7, 2011

    My kids usually want nothing to do with their dad until they are weaned. But almost the minute they’re done breastfeeding, Dad becomes the favorite parent. My 3 year old will not even allow me to comfort him in the middle of the night, and starts asking when dad is coming home at 2:00 in the afternoon.

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    • CJ · November 7, 2011

      I think my kids must enter a “more needy” phase sometime between 2 and 3. My son is nursing more and more lately (mostly at night and when he’s sleepy during the day, or when he wants to put himself between me and the computer), but he still asks for Daddy. Although maybe it’s just a compartmentalization of our parental roles…Mommy can nurse, and Daddy can do everything else. Daddy’s definitely more fun, but that’s always been clear.

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