I don’t know about you, but I have always been mindful of playing favorites. My second daughter was a “surprise” so this makes me do it even more so. For the longest time I have felt that my husband, J, prefers our oldest. She is a rough and tumble girl who thinks she is a little comedian. She loves to sword fight and look at the dragons he makes (he normally likes this, although one afternoon when she went touching them without his permission he wasn’t thrilled) and they laugh at the same cartoons. She has always been his little buddy—a Daddy’s girl from her first breath.
J wasn’t able to be at the hospital when our second daughter was born—his job had him under probation since he just started, and if he had taken off they would have had cause to fire him—and because of this he has always been a little more hesitant with her. At least it seems that way to me. She is quiet in comparison to her sister, and cautious. While she certainly loves her daddy, she has always been more of a Mama’s Baby. Add all of this to the fact that J finds infants “boring” (OK, I am sort of inclined to agree here) and you get the general shape of their relationship.
It is something that has bothered me for a long time. I used to ask him about it often, but I stopped, worrying that if I pushed it he might see her differently, that a problem might develop where there really hadn’t been one. Even so, I still keep an eye out for it.
Khalen is no longer an infant, and J has commented several times that he finds her more “fun” and is “so glad she interacts more”. He is more apt to include her in his rough and tumble games with our oldest, though I have noticed he is more careful and gentle with her. Even though she can’t do everything her older sister can, she likes to be included. She will hang out on the fringes watching and the smile you get when you involve her would melt any heart.
Last night J followed me into the bedroom of our oldest as I was putting her to sleep. I was so busy going through bedroom preparations that I didn’t see him leave. I heard Khalen crying from her bedroom, and with a sigh I thought to myself I wish J would go in and kiss her goodnight for a change. The joke was on me. When I opened the door he was getting her out of her crib and I watched from the doorway as he began to rock her back to sleep. Sometimes we are too sensitive, and we see problems where there aren’t any. I’m certainly glad that that was the case here!