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Does It Bother You When Your Kids Play Favorites?

Erin Zammett Ruddy

Nora has taken a real shine to Nick lately. Shine as in she’s completely up his ass and wants nothing to do with me. Here’s why I’m loving it….

Nora is needy. She has a lot of demands and most of them come out in a whiny, we-are-in-for-it voice. We’re working on it, but in the meantime if she wants to direct her neediness at Nick instead of me, be my guest. Here’s how she’s shown her favoritism recently:

  • I want Daddy to hold me
  • I want Daddy to put me to bed
  • I want Daddy to make my eggs
  • I want Daddy to wipe my butt
  • I want Daddy to take me to fool
  • I want Daddy to give me a bath
  • I want Daddy to kill the mofito (mosquito)

Obviously, we don’t grant her every wish and she gets stuck with me sometimes, but you can see why I’m not particularly crushed by her current crush. You want Daddy to do all those things, Nora? Me too! Done! I think Nick is enjoying it a little bit, too, particularly since for the first two years of her life she only wanted me. And, not to be a scorekeeper, but both kids are generally more Team Mom than Team Dad so it probably feels good for him to have a crazy fan. I mean, who doesn’t love being loved? That said, Nora is taking it a little far. This morning when I tried to change her diaper, she ran away from me and said, “No mommy, I want Daddy to change me.” Then she grabbed on to his legs and looked up at me with a little smirk on her face. Nick had a smirk too. Last night when Nick decided we should stop indulging our children’s demands (Alex wanted me to read to him and Nora wanted Daddy to read to her), I was stuck reading books to a whimpering Nora. Under her breath, while kicking her feet at Corduroy, she whispered, “I don’t love you mommy, I love daddy.” Craziness, right? Have I mentioned how sassy/scary this one is? Fortunately she took it back immediately…when I told her she better take it back immediately. Can you imagine if I were sensitive? Or if I didn’t get to see her a lot and this was how she rejected me? Or if I didn’t know that she’s a complete actress and truly does all of this for affect?

I do think that some of this behavior is stemming from the fact that Nick’s been doing a lot more with her lately because of my hectic work schedule. Nick thinks it’s because he disciplines her so she respects him more. I said he can think whatever he wants so long as he’s the one wiping her butt now. I’m actually enjoying the break. And I think it’s good for Nick, who tends to plead the “I’m a guy” card when it comes to some of Nora’s rearing. When I tried to explain to Nick recently how to properly clean her lady parts, he said this: “Um, if you die, I’ll learn how to do that otherwise that’s all you.” Fair enough.

Bottom line: This all-daddy-all-the-time business is a little ridiculous but I know kids are fickle. I know she’ll be back to being my BFF tomorrow. Plus, I have my Ali Bear who tells me at least once a week that he wants to marry me. So there.

Do your kids ever play favorites? Does it bother you or your partner?