Is it ever OK to have a favourite child? No way. Is it OK to have a soft spot for a different child each day? Absolutely.
It’s not like you love the other child/children any less. You aren’t going to give them smaller meals or refuse them a bath at night, but you may throw a cheeky wink their way, ensure they get the slightly bigger square of chocolate when the other kids aren’t looking, and have a fraction more patience for them. You are only human after all, and sometimes people get on your nerves, your own children inclusive!
In choosing my favoured (not favourite!) child, I tend to run off a hypothetical point system. And it starts at the beginning of the morning.
Whoever wakes up first — deduct 10 points. If it’s before 5.30am, deduct another 5. That kid instantly starts off on a disadvantage. From there, its anyone’s guess who will come out as a front runner.
Most painful child to get dressed — deduct 5 points. Sharing food or toys with siblings —add 10 points. Tantrum? Add up the number of tantrums thrown, then times it by two. Deduct that number.
To the kid that lets me eat all of my own breakfast — add 10 points. Unfair child’s play —deduct 5 points. To the kid that lets me take a shit in peace — add 20 points.
Leaving the most offensive amount of mess on the floor after meals — deduct 20 points.
Playing independently — add 15 points. Pretending to like the dinner I’ve cooked — add 10 points.
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Thanks to these guys for making me a Mum. It’s the only role I’ve ever really been good at! The chaos is strong but the love is so much stronger. Can’t wait to not lift a single finger today and be waited on hand and foot! Might even get rhian to put me in a nappy & hand feed me meals. #shotgunnotwipingasingleass #evenmyown
There are plenty more scenarios that play out in a public forum that help to highlight which child is extra shiny. Like whoever actually listens to me when I’m with my friends, keeps their clothes on, doesn’t put me on show in the supermarket or takes their morning dump inside a nappy or toilet.
Sometimes, you’ll have a kid who is just outstanding from the minute they wake. I’m talking about a 6.30am rise, level headed approach to the day and a far-from-demanding attitude. This type of kid is rare.
Bad attitudes will cost you the points you most recently had added, compliments will give you a head start the following morning and hugs and kisses will shoot you straight to the top regardless of how far down in the negative you are…
So all of this is to say that points go up and points go down. I don’t just have a favourite child each day — I have a favourite child each hour! They are crazy, emotional, unfiltered, energetic and sporadic with their actions and so am I with my feelings towards them.
The love is an everlasting constant but the soft spots come and go. Sometimes Charli wakes up on the wrong side of the bed and rolls her eyes to the back of her head over and over, and other times she is the most helpful child on the planet who can be one step ahead of me.
Kobe sometimes likes to take a shit at 4.00am, but he also has the most angelic smile and giggle on this earth. And then more often than not, Bobby will greet me every morning with the biggest hug and smooch but just as quickly likes to remove 80% of his clothing and mow our neighbour’s lawn with his privates out.
With the good, comes the challenging. So I revert back to the point system to make sure my casual favouritism is mathematical and not slightly biased. And just like me, they too fluctuate between their favourite parent (except their point system is short and sweet):
Whoever has the most patience in the morning and offers up the most sugar before noon. Naturally, my husband Rhian is usually the front runner.