I thought that by being pregnant with my daughters for more than nine months, enduring hours of labor, using my own body to nurture them for over a year and basically being at their back end call for almost five years, would ensure me the well-deserved title of the favorite parent. After all of the above, wasn’t I entitled to it? Otherwise what do I get for a job well done? Stretch marks, a hanging belly, sleep deprivation that probably left permanent damage by now and no time for me. But apparently as soon as my milk dried out, so did my kids’ unconditional adoration of their Mommy. As hard as it was to hear the words: “Not you. I love Daddy more.” for the first time, I have since learned seven different ways of dealing with it:
1) Relief. Thank God, it has finally happened. Does this mean I get my life back? Sure, here you go Daddy, have fun. Mommy will be in the other room, drinking Champagne.
2) Disbelief. Shit. I don’t believe this. When did that happen? Just yesterday you were professing undying love to me, now you’re picking your Dad. What did I do? Perhaps you need to lie down, and we can try this again another time.
3) Anger. What, how can you do that to me! You, Daddy of the year, what did you say to hear, that she’d ever pick you before me? It’s because you let her eat all the candy and give her pizza when she’s sick. Fine, wait till I tell her what you said when you first saw her.
4) Laughter. Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha. Sure, baby, yeah, Daddy is the best…. Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha….
5) Rationalization. Yes, of course she prefers her Daddy now. It’s completely understandable at this stage. Experts say it only means that my daughter feels comfortable enough with me (kudos to Mommy then), to know she is loved and nothing is going to change should she occasionally choose her Father. Looks like Mommy can handle it, while Daddy would sulk.
6) Sulking. Yes. You too can choose the sulking method. Fine, you don’t want me, well frankly I am not too thrilled about you, sweetie. I’ll just go play with your sister, who really surpassed my expectations.
7) Bribery. Look what Mommy has, yes something you want really badly, because who knows you better than Mommy, nobody right. Let’s just leave Daddy to his stuff and the two of us can play tea party, while watching Frozen dressed as princesses.
So, there it is. Over time I have tried them all, to know none of them are perfect… In the end I love the fact that my kids have such an awesome Dad and an incredible role model. So, happy Father’s Day to all you great Dads.