I’m not sure what’s up with my children. It’s like they’ve somehow conveniently forgotten that they lived inside of me for nine months apiece; that they made me gain 140 pounds over the course of each pregnancy (not letting them forget that any time soon); that I’m the one who lies awake at night listening to them breathe; that I’m the one who hurts when they cough and their little noses run; that it’s me who loves them the most in the whole wide world. Lately, they’ve been all over Peter. Daddy this, Daddy that.
“I love you, Daddy,” Peyton declared, all sweet and lovingly last night, even after Peter wouldn’t give her a treat, shouted at her and made her cry.
Me: “What about Mommy? Do you love Mommy, too?”
Peyton: “I love Daddy.”
Great. Awesome. Well played, Peyton.
Don’t get me wrong! I’m glad they want to be with Daddy, and I’m only slightly, how do you say — well — jealous. But I’m actually more OK with it than I thought I’d be. Here’s why:
- Since Daddy’s the parent who’s called upon these days, I’m not asked to change bums or help wipe bums. If Daddy’s getting all the love, he can get the crap, too. (Pun clearly intended.)
- The kids aren’t asking Mommy if they can have more chips, or watch another episode of Sofia the First, or make an enormous mess that they won’t clean up in the family room, which means Mommy doesn’t have to be the one who tells them no like she always does.
- When Daddy does say no (see above), the kids come running to me — looking for sympathy — to tell their tales of woe. “Oh, Mommy; Daddy won’t let us do x y and z.” I’m not going to lie, it’s kind of refreshing to be the good guy.
- They wake Daddy up in the morning. Peter will blame me for this, citing that I’m up later than the rest of them and I refuse to wake up super early on weekends. I tell another story — like many men, Peter’s bathroom breaks are like clockwork, and no matter what day it is, he hits the head by 6:30 each morning. The kids know this, and when they hear him stirring, they get up and hang with him (leaving Mommy alone to sleep on the mattress on our bedroom floor… a.k.a my bed). When Peter hits his internal snooze and doesn’t jet to the john, the kids wake him up anyway. Since they’re so into Daddy, they seem to be on his wakeup schedule.
Let’s be honest. There will come a time — and I’m guessing it will be soon — when the girls will be back to being all about their mommy. Soon I’ll go back to wiping bums and saying no to extra treats. And the cycle will continue. As long as I’m not bugged on Saturday and Sunday mornings, I’m OK with it.
Who’s #1 in your house these days? Be honest: Are your kids on Team Mom? Team Dad? Team Grandma? (My kids are always on Team Bubby, but that’s another story altogether.)