Updated: Jan 14, 2019
Before you judge me, hear me out. Yes. I have a favorite child. That does not mean I love my others any differently. It simply means I play favorites based on convenience and ease of mothering. And whoever wins for the day, earns the title.
My oldest is my husband’s gifted, brilliant, type A, perfectionistic, rule following mini-me, but thirty years younger. My youngest, like her mommy, is a happy-go-lucky, easy going baby, who loves a good nap, and has made me wish I procreated in reverse. But my middle….he’s the one that God sent me to humble my “I’ve got this mom gig in the bag” mentality.
My middle. Just turned three. Still. In. Diapers. Well, I have to give myself some credit...Pull-Ups. The kid acts as if there is a swamp monster lurking at the bottom of the toilet bowl, ready to strike at the first sight of his unprotected little bum. I was the mom who potty trained her first kid in three days. “Read the book,” I told my friends. It WORKS. No accidents. Then came my middle. Who literally refused to poop on the toilet for days and would run around the hallways screaming, as little nuggets fell all over the floor. And we aren’t talking chicken.
My middle. He’s the one that said “I’ll show them!” as we walked up to a friend’s kid’s birthday party as the only cool mom and dad to tackle THREE kids, while our friends were saying things like “You guys are the pros!” and “I don’t know how you do it with two kids and a new baby.” I smiled modestly as I was wearing my daughter in the wrap… ain’t no thang, I thought. An hour later, we were also the same people creating a search party for our missing toddler who disappeared right from under our noses. “YOU take the parking lot, YOU go that way, I’ll go this way!” Talk about party poopers. Which is ironic considering he doesn’t. Turns out he was hiding in a bush watching the whole thing unfold. But seriously. He’s the kid that made my husband and I say “we DON’T have this.”
My middle. He’s the one that has temper tantrums in Target...and Wal-Mart….and any restaurant we go to. He’s the reason I haven’t shopped in three years for groceries and the online pick up guys know me by name. He’s the reason I turn down play dates because they are going somewhere where he could escape.
My middle. He’s the reason we have Hungry Hippos on lock-down in our house. “What’s in your mouth?!” and “don’t put that up your nose!” are still constantly being yelled out in our house. He will refuse to eat macaroni and cheese or a quesadilla but has no problem eating dirt, or dog food, or rocks, or a day old apple core he found in the garbage (I’m not even kidding).
But before you think I’m terrible…
My middle. He’s the one I needed. The one who wants to cuddle his mama. The one who sings songs with me and gives me hugs and gross toddler kisses. He’s the one who cracks jokes and loves to get tickled. He’s the one who shares. He’s the one who tells me all about his day at preschool and then asks “how was your day mama?” He’s my love bug.
My middle is hard. So hard. Balancing the three kids with my middle, in the middle, is the hardest job I’ve had. But I have a feeling, my hardest child will be the one that makes this mom gig easier as the time goes on. I can see him as a teenager with his happy go lucky personality, cracking jokes, and hopefully, still giving me those hugs, although they will probably be sweaty and smelly teenager hugs. Still, I’ll take them.
I don’t really have a favorite child.
It’s just a silent joke I play with myself for the day. When my baby sleeps, it’s her. When my first born cleans his room, it’s him. But so many days I am caught up in the difficulty of parenting a HARD toddler that I forget that what seems to be my biggest challenge with him right now, will be my favorite thing about him in a few years. Well, except the poop. That needs to be a long, distant memory that I can use in my speech at his rehearsal dinner. And knowing his sense of humor, he’ll appreciate it.