Last night, Anton casually told me…
… that he prefers Alex. Cripes! And after birthing him and everything!
I immediately turned to my own mom and sent her this email:
Anton said tonight, ‘Mommy, is it okay if I tell you that Daddy is my favorite parent? I just love him a little bit more.’ I laughed and said, ‘Of course it’s okay; you loved me the most when you were a baby, so now it’s Daddy’s turn!’ I’m mostly feeling okay about it. But I am still a little bit sad!
My mom, who is a sage in all ways, wrote me back this amazing note:
Here’s an answer that is probably longer than you want!! LOL!!!
It is okay. And it doesn’t actually mean he loves you less. Anton would be devastated if he thought you didn’t love him or were disappointed or upset with him. The very fact that he could confide that to you means he feels safe and secure with you and trusts that you love him! He was making sure that you were okay with him being obsessed with Alex right now because your opinion matters. He was asking for your okay.
He is just really saying that Alex is his role model right now. That does NOT mean that you aren’t the one he wants or loves more when he gets hurt or if someone is mean to him at school. He wants Alex’s approval right now and knows he has yours.
Anton got permission from his rock that he can share his feelings and scamper off and have fun with Daddy and not feel guilty or risk your not loving him. You showed him you love and accept him as he is.
How great is that advice? I thought might be helpful for other parents, too, in case you find yourself in this particular situation!
(Photos by Christine Han for Cup of Jo.)