Favorites… it’s a common theme for children. Favorite toys. Favorite foods. Favorite school-subject. Favorite time of day. Favorite game. Favorite friend. Right now, we’re in the midst of a Favorite Parent issue — with our 3 year old.
If you haven’t experienced age 3 in all it’s glory yet… brace yourself.
For those of you who have survived the so-called Terrible 2s, you would think that things only get easier once the magical 3rd birthday hits, right?
Maybe if you’re one of those lucky bitches with the mythical easy children I’ve read about… but in my case — age 3 has been an even bigger roller coaster than her first 2 years combined. My formerly comedic, easy-going youngest has developed an opinion on everything and if she doesn’t get what she wants, look out!
The hubs & I have learned to pick & choose our battles with her. For example, we have gotten especially strict about her eating & drinking habits. We are very much aware that we can’t force a kid to eat, but we can banish some of the crap she’s been begging to eat so it’s not even an option. My 3 year old has the biggest sweet tooth… it’s honestly insane how much sugar that girl will eat if you let her. We’ve also made some major progress in the potty dept recently… another thing we technically don’t have a lot of control over. But I don’t wanna jinx the fact that she’s remained dry for 2 weeks now, so I’m not talking about this huge, enormous feat yet! Shhh! *knocks wood*
But when it comes to the waking & sleeping hours, we become weak.
And that’s when the 3 year-old attacks… and the favorite parent issue becomes, well, an issue!
Because of Sedona’s strong opinion and massive blow-ups, there are certain things we’ve learned to let go. Like fighting her when she looks me right in the eye around 7:30p to sternly say “I don’t like you, Momma! I want Daddy!” Every. Single. Night.
I get it, I do. I was the same way growing up. I had my own favorite parent. My Dad was equal parts teddy-bear and Ambien. He travelled a lot when I was young, and my Mom stayed home with us until she went back to school around the time I was 10. By the time my dad would come home from work, whether he was away for a day or a week, I’d want to soak him in. I saw my father less that my daughters see the hubs… but I still get it.
Why waste my time fighting a battle that can’t be won? Favorite parent? Sure, I had mine, and maybe my girls’ favorite parent will always be their daddy. Not much I can do about it. I usually respond to the “I don’t like you Momma!” scream with a calm “I’m sorry to hear that, but I will always love you very much.” Which I don’t remember my own mother ever saying, because she simply got jealous &/or angry over comments like that. Grounding me or something.
I’m not the jealous type. I may be moderately competitive, but I’m not jealous. But that’s another blogpost entirely.
I understand that feelings, opinions & emotions change on a daily basis. I may not be the favorite parent this month, but who knows what will happen in a few weeks, after I come home from a week-long trip to the west coast? Will I turn into the favorite parent then? Maybe my youngest doesn’t want me to tuck her into bed or make or even touch her breakfast right now, but that could always change. If it doesn’t, that’s ok too. Plus, I’m not going to fight the fact that I get to put my relatively independent 6 1/2 year old to bed instead. Can ya blame me?!
I should note that I’m not hated all day. I don’t know if I could mentally handle that amount of hatred. Sedona also randomly tells me she loves me throughout the day; begging for snuggles that I do my best to soak in whenever possible. Those are some of my favorite moments.
I know from experience that 4 year-olds don’t snuggle nearly as much as 3 year olds… or express their love out of the blue as often.
3 year olds: can’t fight ’em, just love ’em.