As I've mentioned here before, during the first year of the Peanut's life, I was The Man!
To my lovely little daughter, I was the living embodiment of Christmas, Elmo, and an all-you-can-eat ice cream buffet.
When she woke up in the morning, she demanded that I be the one who got her out of the crib, changed her diaper, and dressed her. When she hurt her knee at the playground, it was me that she always came running to. When she was hungry, only I was allowed to prepare her dinner and feed her. And every moment of every day, all she ever wanted to do was hang out with me.
But back then, it was easy to win her affections. I was the funny guy who would stuff baby carrots up his nose just to keep her entertained. I was the one who would make yarmulkes and beards out of the bubbles in her bathtub. And I was the one who would run around the apartment with my boxers on my head just to hear her giggle.
But after her first year, I dropped in the standings. BossLady was #1, the nanny was #2, and I was a distant third. When we switched the Peanut to daycare, I thought I'd move up to the #2 spot but I was quickly displaced by one of the Peanut's teachers. Damn!
Now, although I have a vicious competitive streak, I would never try and compete with the BossLady for my daughter's affections. As l've said before, if parenthood has taught me anything, it's that everything I do is for the benefit of my daughter. So, once again, I realized that I needed to change my perspective and alter my way of thinking. I couldn't allow my competitive spirit to manifest itself. To paraphrase Mikhail Baryshnikov, "I do not try to parent better than anyone else. I only try to parent better than myself."
So, if the Peanut loved BossLady more than she did me, so be it. C'est la vie. I wasn't going to try and compete for her affections and I was just going to have to learn to accept that, in her own little way, the Peanut loved me too. Mature, eh?
Well, internet, I'm proud to say today that...I'M NUMBER ONE! WOO HOO! THAT'S RIGHT, AMIGOS! NUMERO UNO! WHO ROCKS THE PARTY? I ROCK THE PARTY! NUMBER TWO IN YOUR PROGRAM, NUMBER ONE IN YOUR HEART! I'M THE MOTHERFLIPPPING RHYMENOCEROUS! HEY! HO!
Ok, so I admit it...
A part of me had a hard time dealing with the fact that the Peanut loved BossLady more than me. It wasn't that my little girl didn't shower me with affection. It's just that whenever the BossLady showed up, the Peanut would go bonkers! I felt like one of those stay-at-home-moms who deals with unruly toddlers all day, only to see them turn into little angels when daddy walked in the door from work.
Heck, after all, I'm the one who prepares all of the Peanut's meals. I'm the one who takes her to the playground every day, brings her on bike rides around the city, drives her out to Coney Island for the amusement rides, and takes her to the water park all the time. Why shouldn't I be #1?
Anyway, I know my time as #1 is probably short-lived but I thought it would be fun for the Peanut and I to celebrate my newfound status over a few ghetto dogs this afternoon.
Jacket and tie optional.
Meanwhile, I just caught the end of a funny commercial promoting some new sitcom. In it, the father leans over to his son and says, "You know how they say parents love all their kids the same? Well, you're in third place. Better step it up!"
For some reason, I thought that line was hilarious. Do any of you pull that stuff with your kids? And do you find yourself competing with you spouse over your kids' affections? Consciously or sub-consciously? And what about you childless folks? Surely, you have a favorite niece or nephew, right?
An inquiring mind wants to know...