Monday, October 01, 2012

Playing favourites

There has been a bit of an internet storm going on the last few weeks, over a daddy blogger in Canada, who recently posted about favouring one son over the other.

Buzz Bishop has said "Those first 2 years of life were not that exciting for me. My wife loved the babying of our boys, I was wanting them to run, and kick, and play." - He said that its much more fun now, doing stuff with his older 5 year old, than with his 2 year old - therefore he hangs out with his older son more.  And that makes him his "favourite".

You can read about it here and his original post here.

I can understand his point of view - I guess he's really saying that he more enjoys being able to interact with his son, rather than a baby who cant do much yet.  Its the STAGE of life, not the child.

I can also understand why its caused a bit of a scandal.

I remember when I was a kid once, watching a TV show where the sitcom TV mum had several kids, and clearly one of them was the “favourite”. I remember turning to my own mum at the time and saying “Its not good for a parent to have a favourite child, is it mum?”

To which she replied “You can have a favourite, but you must NEVER show that you favour one over the other”.

I thought that was a fair call, but it left me wondering which one of us, me or my brother, was the favoured, golden child!

Looking back now, I can see that at different times of our lives, one or the other would have been more in favour, depending on the situation at the time. No doubt when my brother was a stroppy teen, and I was a cute little 7 year old, I would have been the preferred offspring. And then again when I was the moody teenager and my brother was the sensible young adult living out of home, I’m sure he was the favourite.
My brother and I... awww...  Check out the funky 70's bedspread (or maybe its a tablecloth??!!  Wait, maybe its carpet??!!!)

I do clearly remember exploiting my "baby of the family" status on more than one occasion.  Particularly when I would torment my poor big brother to the point of insanity, whereby he would lash out and punch me on the shoulder.  Then I would go crying to mummy, and the rest would go like this:

Me:     Pretending to be more hurt than I really am: "Waaahhh... mummy... John hit me!!"
Mum: "JOHN!!  Dont hit your sister!"
John: "But she started it!!  And she's annoying me!!"
Mum: "And you're old enough to know better!  Leave her alone!"
John:  Storms off in a huff at the unfairness of it all...
Me:      Smirks in victory

The baby of the family has a lot of power.

Naughty, sneaky little bugger that I was.

(I must remember this when my two start fighting)

Anyway, I cant clearly remember any time when I felt like one or the other was a clear favourite. Its one of the many things I truly respect my parents for. Perhaps my brother might have a different view on this, being the older sibling by 7 years. Certainly there are things that he remembers about our childhood, which I have a totally different view on.

Now that I have two little munchkins of my own, I’m curious to see how my own emotions and feelings pan out over the years to come.  Right now, I have days where I prefer the cute little baby stage (oh so many "ga-ga's" coming out of his mouth at the moment, so precious) over the naughty toddler stage.  Or I sometimes prefer the easier-to-reason-with toddler stage, over the grizzly-tired-just-wants-to-cry baby stage.

But I believe its the STAGE that I prefer, not the child.  I'd give my life for both my children.

What do YOU think?


Sandra said...

I can honestly say (and I know there are a lot of sceptics) that I don't have a favourite. My two girls are *very* different individuals and I love different things about each of them, and hate different things about each of them...Maddie has my temperament, so it's easier to identify with her as she's getting older. Cassie looks more like me, but has her dad's temperament and absolutely milks the baby status for all it's worth. Maddie is a gifted artist (gets it from me but I was never that good) and musician (from Michael)...Cassie is passionate about dance (again, my side of the family) and loves nature and animals...
You'll see as they grow older, there is SO much to love. Yes, there is also a lot that you wish you didn't have to put up with - but that's just teenagers ;)
(Sorry, I seem to hijack your comment sections too much, but I love your Blog - wish I'd blogged when mine were little) xoxox

Sandra said...

Sorry, that should have read skeptics...LOL...half asleep here ;)

caygraymomma said...

What a great post Hilary. It is something that is a good point. I am thinking favourite is not a word I would use so much. To me it is more of a case of balancing attention spent. Sometimes, one child needs attention more than another. I agree with the stage thinking, and at the same time, I think that in parenting children, there are a million little moments that we are offered in day to day to fall deeper in love with a child.

While that falling might be mistaken for favourtism, I submit that perhaps it is just one child having a little moment in the sun.

Good luck to the dad. What a tricky topic to try to post and share.