Sunday, February 15, 2009

Mommy as the Consolation Prize

Scene: Breakfast table on Valentine's Day, discussing the day's activities. I am at the table with the boy (age 5.5). The husband is on the other side of the counter, in the kitchen. The Girl is nearby, in the living room.

Boy: I want a Daddy day. I want another day when I go with Daddy and Girl goes with Mommy.

Me: Oh, do you want to do that today?

Boy (with enthusiasm): Yeah! Let's do that!

Me (looking at Husband): Does that sound good?

Husband: Sure. Let's do it.

(Girl, age 3.5, joins us at the table)

Boy: We're going to have another day when I go with Daddy and you go with Mommy!

Girl (starting to cry): But I want to go with Daddy!

Boy (looking surprised and baffled about how to proceed): Well. Okay. So, who do you love more?*

Girl (head in hands): Daddy!

Me to Husband (with no notice by the children): This conversation seems to be devolving.

Boy (to Girl): I thought you loved Mommy.

Girl (crying): I want Daddy!

Me (trying to navigate the minefield): Girl, we can go to dance class and then maybe I can take you to tea . . .

Girl (stemming the flow of tears): Oh, actually, I want to go with Mommy.

Boy (speaking like a professional mediator): Oh. Okay. So you want to go with Mommy? You can handle that? You can handle going with Mommy?

(Husband laughing. Me, watching and bemused.)

Girl: Yes. Mommy.

Boy: Okay then!

End Scene.

*This question has a lot subtext since the Boy regularly makes it clear that he loves Daddy more than Mommy. This love is mostly founded on the fact that Daddy will pick up snakes and Mommy will not.


Contemporary Troubadour said...

A minefield indeed, yet so cute. Did you end up having tea? I tell my husband that if we do have girls, he must take them on dates so they know how they're supposed to be treated by men. Though I will be sad not to be able to be there to watch.

baxie said...

this is why you only have one!!

ink said...

My goodness! I am impressed with how you "rolled" with that conversation. It was cute that Boy was such a moderator... ;)

Good Enough Woman said...

CT, Yes, I DID take her to a local tea house, which she enjoyed but I enjoyed more.

No, Bax! It's exactly why you have TWO!

Ink (or the blogger formerly known as Outside Voice), yes, I've come to terms with my son's professed preference for his father--although I must admit the girl's Daddy preference took me a bit by surprise. In truth, sometimes it's nice when everyone wants Daddy.

ink said...

It was surely just a momentary preference, though, right? Our kids go through phases where they prefer one or the other of us. Must admit that DH and I are always privately gloating if it's our turn and feeling a bit down if it isn't...