To be fair, my groupie count is far less than what those Liverpool lads had during the height of Beatlemania. But my son Eli is just as devoted as those shrieking teens.
It wasn’t always this way.
For years both Eli and Benjamin preferred their mother to me, and they weren’t shy about letting me know. When Mommylibrium left the house they would rush to the living room picture window to watch her pull out of the driveway, tears welling in their eyes. At bedtime, they wanted Mommy to put them to sleep and read them their final stories of the day. If they skinned their knee they wailed, “I want my Mommy!” even if I was there, ready to kiss the “owees” away.
I figured when I taught them how to throw a curveball or parallel park the tide would turn in my favor. Little did I know said tide would turn so quickly.
Eli now wants to spend every waking hour perched on his favorite parent’s shoulders. I’m the one he asks for when it’s time to read books at bedtime. When we go out to eat, he spends the second half of meal time sitting on my lap while we eat. He showers me with kisses at random times.
In short, he’s a groupie. And, of course, I’m loving it.
So what does being my son’s favorite parent mean? Ultimately nothing. It’s a stage like any other that a child goes through, and before I know it he’ll be back clamoring for Momma or talking up his favorite TV show. I fear he’ll soon pick either Chris or Martin from “Wild Kratts” over me.
For now, I’m following these basic guidelines:
- Enjoy: A child’s life stage can be fleeting – for better or worse. I couldn’t wait until Ben got over his Epic Meltdown stage. So why not appreciate being the apple of my son’s eye while it lasts?
- Console Your Wife: Even though Mommylibrium enjoyed years of Favored Parent Status, she looks a little glum when Eli chooses me at bedtime. Don’t gloat. Be sweet to your spouse. She’s feeling a little sad and it’s your job to cheer her up. Heck, you’ll score some Good Husband Points along the way.
- Don’t Let Up on Parenting Basics: Just because your kid is glued to your leg doesn’t mean he or she should get away with murder. It’s natural to ease up on house rules when your child is being so endearing, so don’t let it happen.
For now, I’m going to put on some dark glasses, dash into my limo and see if I can flee the mob of one.