Rockstar: Mum. Me, Daddy, JD and the baby, who do you love best?
Me: Wah, how to choose between you guys? Then you leh, who do YOU love best?
Rockstar: Daddy. <pause> Cos he’s not around a lot, he’s always working. Come On. So what about you?
Me: I guess it used to be you when I only had one child, but now there’s Baby Rockstar I guess it’s both of you.
Rockstar: <nodding solemnly> Ok.
Me: And you’re fine with that.
Rockstar: Yeah I thought you would say that.
Me: What if I said I loved JD most?
Rockstar: <laughing> WHY?!
Me: Oh I don’t know, what if I’d said JD?
Rockstar: <still laughing> Then I don’t believe. She’s a dog.
Me: So sure it’s not JD… Ok what if I said Daddy?
Rockstar: <shrugs> That’s ok. Me too. He’s the one not around.
(No, I’m not going to put in his head I could possibly love his sister more than him or vice versa. Obviously this has not occurred to him, nor has it occurred to him to vie for us to love him more. His understanding is we love both equally, just that each has different needs right now, being of different ages.)
Rockstar has always favored his dad. My son hasn’t forgiven me my past life as a “yucky” little girl once. Not to mention I gave up an “exciting grownup job” to hang out at home, when the Rockstar is hungry to grow up and leave home. He is eyeing college. He can’t wait to go to school for longer hours. He can’t wait to get a job. How could I give all that up?
When the two males lock horns (which naturally happens during a brief period when Kings took over supervising school activities which I hope to eventually blog about), I mediate and explain away the misunderstanding. And with them it’s always a misunderstanding/ miscommunication, from whence two very similar hot tempers flare - whereupon Rockstar promptly forgets about me in the making up with the dad. Can’t remember when I stopped feeling hurt – you’d think it was maybe when I discovered I was pregnant again, but I think when it really sank in was when I really understood I was now a full-time parent. “Selflessness” is “different” in a work setting. I don’t think one can be similarly “punished” for it in the home (i.e. the rewards are greater). Because there is no price, no salary increase or work “credits” that can mitigate the best example or role model you’re trying to be for your children.
Then it comes naturally – you know, that disgustingly selfless bit you never knew you had in you, where you know it’s in your means to make your child happy, and not of the multi-Haagen Dasz variety. It’s when your child’s mood is because what he wants isn’t you but his dad – even when he sulks and won’t speak with him and you know that’s just ‘cos they locked horns and the younger male is still hurting. And you could soothe your own deep-seated insecurities born of a childhood where love could be withheld (for things like failing to achieve), or you could do better than you were shown how to.
My son wants his dad. Humph. I shall just have to go shopping. Net-a-porter.com is having a sale.