Around his first birthday, my boob-loving baby looked up and realised there was another person living in our house. That person was Daddy and he was awesome. I have been the loser of our family ever since.
Much as I love cuddles when my cheeky boy is sad, scared or hurt, I wouldn’t mind some excited squeals when I walk through the front door. I mean, I brewed the kid for nine months and then pushed him out of my body in a brawl that lost me full custody of my bladder. A wee bit of gratitude wouldn’t go astray. Pun intended.
Look, I do know my child loves me. He even likes me sometimes. But there’s no doubt, I’m the firm second choice in our house. It’s hard not to take it personally when your two-year-old pushes you out of your chair, screeching “Mummy NO! Daaaddy!!” because you’re too intolerable to occupy the same airspace as him.
I’m like that stale Arrowroot biscuit living on the floor of your car. I’m there in case you’re stranded on the side of the road and starving, but I’m certainly not your first choice for a snack.
I should probably play it cool and hard to get, but I’ve decided to fight back and love-bomb this kid until he’s forced to see how fun I am and choose ME. MEEEE. Yes I’m aware of how juvenile I’m being. Yes, I’ll gladly accept all donations to my shrink fund.
Anyway… last week was my chance. My husband went away for work all week, which meant I had zero competition. This was MY TIME and I was willing to fight dirty to be the favourite parent again. The week was all about fun. We went to fun places, we played, he laughed and I was a HOOT all bloody week.
In the morning we played with toys. I usually like to sit and supervise while telling myself I’m teaching him independence and resourcefulness blah blah blah. But we all know this exercise has nothing to do with his development, and everything to do with my delicate ego, so I got down and played trains like the meaning of life was hidden up Thomas’ tailpipe.
In the afternoon we went to the National Dinosaur Museum. Because nothing says “I love you more than your father” than deciding to pack up and head out to play with dinosaurs on a whim.
Shame the huge animatronic dinosaurs scared the crap out of him and it was so cold outside we had to get back in the car after about four and a half minutes. But two-year-olds totally appreciate the effort, right?
Not the favourite yet.
Tuesday and Wednesday
With Tuesday and Wednesday at day-care, my challenge was to win his love during witching hour. The nightly dinner skirmish, bath time battle and bedtime war. Yikes.
I used every tactic I knew. Dinner was plain pasta with not a hint of the dreaded sauce. Bath time was a free-for-all in which every lukewarm bath water splash was greeted with laughter and applause and not one “for Christ’s sake” and bedtime was drawn out and fun filled and ended with a little person being allowed to fall asleep on Mummy’s chest. Daddy might be fun, but Mummy is better at cuddles.
I can only assume I was slowly gaining favour because on both nights I heard a gleeful “MUMMY” at about 2am which ended with a 13kg toddler lying across my neck in the big bed.
Let’s just call it a win, ok? I got zero sleep, I couldn’t breathe and got kicked in the face multiple times but I was feeling like SUCH a winner. #sarcasmfont
The sky was blue and the air was warm so, like lizards, we took to the outdoors for some sun. We went for a walk around Lake Burley Griffin to play with leaves. Because I’m about as outdoorsy as a nudist in the arctic.
What would Daddy do? Daddy would get in there and get dirty. So that’s what Mummy did and she even set up the camera to get some hard evidence of how dead set fun she is.
Most parents of small children will know there’s a fine line between being fun enough to entertain your children and being SO fun they never want to stop whatever painfully repetitive game you’ve created. I bounded across that line and we threw leaves until he got sick of it. I was a RIOT, he was all smiles and there was not one request for Daddy.
The title was in my grasp.
For our last day of mum fun we went to Cockington Green, which is a land of miniature houses and gardens.
Not going to lie, I enjoyed it more than he did. Mainly because no one was stopping me stampeding the scenes like baby Godzilla trying to kidnap all the tiny people.
We finished with the most fun part of the whole week: a surprise trip to the airport to pick up Daddy. SO. MANY. PLANES. He was SO enthralled with the planes they almost overshadowed Daddy’s arrival.
Despite it all, this stale Arrowroot was binned as soon as we got home.
I’ve got nothing on Daddy and that’s ok. We had a really fun week but I was gagging for a break at the end because, to be honest, being Daddy is exhausting.
Anyway, he’ll come around eventually. Right??
Are you the favourite? Or have you been shafted for someone else?