Keeping It Equal
For awhile now, our son T has been big into Daddy. So much so that he will blatantly tell me on occasion to "go away - want Daddy" if I answer his cries instead of Marc. On the other hand, our daughter M is stuck to my side - often inserting herself between me and T, and claiming me for all sorts of play activities that her little brother can't quite do yet. The parent-child dynamics have been getting a bit lopsided in our house and we wanted to do something this past weekend to equalize things. I'm sure this dynamic is common in many homes - not just those with equal sharing.
So, Marc took M camping and I stayed home with T. Father and daughter tramped through the forest and bundled in sleeping bags in a tent, while mother and son sang silly songs at music class and ran around the local zoo. It was fun to mix things up - both for them and for us. As ESP believers, I think we're especially tuned in to when the equality is 'off' in our house, and consider the situation to be something to gently correct.
Is it wrong for mother and daughter to bond more closely? Or father and son? Well, no...but I think I'd miss something special with T (and he with me, and similar for Marc and M) if we let the lopsidedness continue and continue. We believe that we each bring something different to our children's upbringing - something that is best gifted upon them in a close relationship. So it is important to us to keep those bonds strong and equal.
When the campers returned home, all grimy and happy, T and I were glad to see them. At bedtime tonight, T announced "no Daddy - want Mommy" and M responded with "no - I want Mommy". Well, you can't win them all. On second thought, it's my birthday and 'wanting Mommy' feels good for today.