As a parent, you’re not supposed to play favorites. But kids don’t play by the same rules.
Julianna’s been Daddy’s Girl from day one. When her heart condition and the resulting lack of oxygen made her too crabby to nurse, I frequently got frantic, because I was deprived of my surest form of comfort. But she would fall asleep on Daddy’s legs. When she gets upset, it’s not Mommy who comforts her, it’s Daddy. Daddy’s the one who can get her to eat, to respond to verbal cues, to smile for the camera. Occasionally she’ll deign to toss Mommy a few crumbs of affection, but pretty soon all the love goes back to its proper place.
Maybe that’s all this is, too. But as Julianna grows, she seems to be carving out a place in her heart for Mommy, too. Our special time of the day is naptime. I toss her on the bed, which she loves, and we tickle and giggle and sing for a few minutes. She likes for me to lie down beside her.
But I’m also beginning to learn how to coax her out of her moods (and let’s be honest, she has quite a few). Offering to play Libera works pretty well…as does chocolate milk. Is this bribery? Well, maybe. But then, she’s three years old, and unable to tell me what she wants, except by rudimentary methods. So getting her calmed down enough to respond to yes and no is a big thing.
She’ll always be a Daddy’s girl. But I’m just glad to find that there’s room in that adorable little heart for Mommy, too.