Redemption: A Second Chance at Being the Favorite Parent

I’ve come to terms with being Addie’s second favorite parent. But I’ve decided learn from experience and enjoy my time with Vivi more. If there’s one thing Addie taught me when she was a baby, it was that being the favorite parent could change in a nanosecond.

Addie was always pretty easy to read when she was a baby. I was her favorite for most of her first year. Vivi, on the other hand, can be bought with cups of ice or battery-less remote controls.  There have been some moments, however, where I have been the favorite parent.

The first time we really started to see a preference was when Vivi was about eight months old. We had just got home from a random trip to the mall. The mall, which is really our term for the nearest shopping district in Indianapolis, is about a thirty minute drive from our house, and by the time we arrived home Vivi couldn’t handle another moment in her car seat. We pulled into the garage and everyone piled out. I opened Vivi’s door and pulled her out of her car seat while she sobbed. She lunged forward against my shoulder and there she stayed until we got inside. I set her on the floor so I could start preparing dinner and Vivi lost it. Full on someone is kicking my puppy and beating my kitty lost it.

I picked her up and held her until Casey came back in the room to take Vivi. I turned to walk back towards the kitchen when Vivi lost it again. I quickly turned around and Vivi lunged for me. I held her for the next thirty minutes or so.  She wasn’t hungry, nor was she tired; she just wanted to be held by her dad. There aren’t many better feelings in the world than that.

Those types of experiences have started to happen more and more often. When she sees me when I get home from work she will shout “dadada,” head in my direction, and demand to be picked up and held.

After Casey and Addie went to Chicago a couple weekends ago, the bond between Vivi and I grew. And I’m pretty happy to admit that I’m clearly that floppy haired girl’s favorite person in the world. We have our own little games that only we know how to play. We have our secret funny faces that we make at certain times of the day that only we know about. She gives me five when I put my hand in front of her and she shivers with excitement when I tell her to open the garage door.

This past Sunday, we were watching a family-oriented movie as we do each Sunday evening. Usually Vivi wanders around the house aimlessly walking to random places as she tries to convince us to let her play with different non-baby toys. This Sunday was different, however. Vivi wasn’t wandering around the house, she was sitting quietly in my lap chomping away on ice as we quietly watched the movie together. She didn’t sit there for just five or ten minutes, either.  She sat there for the majority of the movie just hanging out with me.

Towards the end of the movie, I started glancing over at Casey to see how she was doing with the bigger kid and I noticed I was getting nothing but jealous glares in return. That moment hanging out with my one-year-old baby was pretty sweet, but knowing that Casey, the parent who had enjoyed six years of being Addie’s favorite, was sitting over there being jealous of me made it even sweeter.

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