Have you ever wondered if your parents had a favorite child and if so...was it you? I was the youngest, so clearly I believed that I was the favorite even though I got picked on the most and my brother farted on my head. My sister was the oldest and I’m pretty sure she thinks she got gypped because she had to be Responsible and Babysit Us On Her Summer Vacation. Also, she was the guinea pig of the bunch...I mean...the oldest has to be, right? My brother...well, he was the middle and the only boy, so, you know, he was the Handsome Hero. Who farted on my head. (Did I mention that?) Then there was yours truly, who will forever be remembered for sitting on a banana in the car while on Pike’s Peak in Colorado and also the fact that I once ate a handful of birdseed while waiting in line at a store. CAN WE STOP TALKING ABOUT THESE THINGS EVERY HOLIDAY DINNER PLEASE? But as a kid, I don’t remember thinking that my parents had a favorite. (But if they did, I would totally get extra points for being so entertaining.)
I was so naive.
Of course they had a favorite. Just not the same one all the time.
I know this because this morning when Daughter threw her sneaker at my head, protesting the very idea that sneakers might be a better choice for a rainy day than her $10 leopard ballet flats from Target, and then escaped my grasp and slammed the door in my face, she was sooooo not my favorite. My favorite at that moment was Son, who was trying to lure Daughter into wearing her sneakers by showing her an “awesome trick.”
But last night at dinner, Daughter was totally my favorite when she ate vegetables. Willingly and without effort on my part. She’s so awesome when she does that. She is also equally awesome in the fact that she never protests bedtime...just lays her head and goes to sleep. Amazing.
But then, Son is clearly the favorite anytime he poops because one-he does it in the toilet and two-he wipes his own ass. Daughter struggles with both these things; also, I cannot convince her that her...lady parts...are not called a butt. I’ve given up on that one. Yes. It’s your butt. Sorry to suggest otherwise.
Son also takes the cake when it comes to running errands. Although Daughter does tend to be more “entertaining” by running down the aisle taking her shirt off and hiding in the clothing racks, Son has a much more peaceful approach that usually includes just walking beside me, with only the occasional need to shoot heat vision at nice, unsuspecting strangers. (I have to admit...Daughter is kind of my favorite when she yells GRANDPA at, shall we say, distinguished, gray-haired gentlemen waiting in line to pay.)
Obviously, I love them both equally and endlessly, but what’s the harm in letting them know that once in awhile, one of them is on the shit list and the other one gets ice cream? (Just kidding...I could never deny them the pleasure that is ice cream. Unlimited ice cream consumption is a basic right of anyone under 10.) Whenever I look at photos of my childhood and come across yet another one where my back is turned to the camera while the rest of my family is happily smiling with arms around each other...I’m pretty sure I was on the shit list at that moment.
So I guess maybe my sister was the favorite, especially all those times when she stood up for her brother and sister, taking her rightful place as Protector. But then again, my brother was obviously the favorite because he was so thoughtful and there is just something about a little boy that melts your heart. But don’t count me out as favorite because I was always good for a bit of humor on the side...and my mom probably felt sorry for me because my brother farted on my head.
So don’t worry, dear Daughter. Although you left this morning not being the favorite, you could, at any moment, become it. Hint: try taking a nap. That one gets you straight to the top of the list every time.