One thing everyone told me when I was pregnant with Jonah was that I would have no trouble loving both of my boys the same. That while I may love them differently, it would still be the same kind of love…the same amount of love. That part is true. I love Jonah as much as I love Noah; and I love Noah as much as I could ever love Jonah. Both of these boys make up entirely different parts of my heart, but complete my life in a way I never knew possible.
What people don’t tell you is that you will have a favorite child.
There’s no way to get around it. I remember that when I was a kid, I used to ask my parents who their favorite daughter was (I still swear it was always my little sister). They never came out and said that they didn’t have a favorite. They just always said that they loved us both the same.
Now, I know that they replied with that because we, as parents, do have a favorite child.
When Jonah is cranky and teething…constantly whimpering and whining because his little mouth is aching and Noah is on the couch playing quietly on the LeapPad, Noah is my favorite child.
When Noah is blatantly defying us and not doing what he’s told…when he’s mixing all nine new tubs of Play-doh together in one big blob (despite being told repeatedly not to) and Jonah is sitting calmly in his bouncy seat making silly faces at me, Jonah is my favorite child.
When Jonah is awake at 3:00 am for the sixth time since being put to bed for no other reason than because he wants to be held and Noah is in his room sleeping soundly, Noah is my favorite child.
When Noah is throwing a tantrum and screaming because things aren’t going just like he wants them to and Jonah is nuzzling sweetly against my shoulder and making sweet baby sounds, Jonah is my favorite child.
See, it’s not about loving one more than the other. It’s about the natural reaction to prefer one child’s behavior over the others. I love both of my boys with my whole entire heart. I couldn’t imagine life without either of them. But, when I’m sleep deprived, over-loaded with work, and in need of a break…it’s easy to have a favorite in whichever child is giving me the least trouble on any given day.
It’s also about realizing that neither of my kids are perfect, and never will be. They will both disappoint me. They will both upset me. They will both let me down.
But, they will both bring me joy. They will both make me giggle and laugh. They both make me smile.
They will both continue to bring me more happiness than I ever knew was possible.
Even if I do occasionally play favorites.
What about you? Can you admit to having a favorite child at some point or another?