When you’re a mom and you have a new baby, you’re likely it’s favorite person in the whole world. You give them food, keep them clean, and have the voice they’ve heard the most for the past nine or so months. They might cry when others hold them or only fall asleep in your arms. You love them and know you are loved right back.
Being their favorite person can last for a while, maybe even a whole lifetime. Or maybe you have a child who wakes up from every nap and asks for their Dada, even though every freakin’ weekday you explain that Dada is at work, where he always is during the day, and it’s just you. And your son looks at you, disappointed but resigned, and you know you are not his favorite.
Or maybe you have a child who waits outside his classroom for the first day of preschool to start, surrounded by classmates who scream and moan and clutch their parents and caregivers hands in disbelief that they will soon be parted. And through this sea of emotional turmoil, your son somehow finds the strength to push your hand away and walk into his classroom with glee. You go over to him and tell him to have fun and be good and that you’ll miss him. He looks at you, wondering why you are still there. Then he smiles at the teaching assistant. And you know you are not his favorite.
Or maybe you have a child who welcomes his grandparents and wonderful baby-sitters into his house with clapping and smiles and does not notice when you leave or even when you return. And you know you are not his favorite.
Then one day you take your child on a trip to Florida and start his very first day at Disneyworld. It is exciting and new for him at first. He holds Grandma’s hand and then Grandpa’s and rides on his Dad’s shoulders. But then you get in line for the It’s a Small World After All ride. And maybe it’s the heat or the crowd or a part of him senses he is about to be trapped on a ride hearing a song he will never be able to get out of his head, but all of a sudden he lets out a blood-curdling scream and races to you. For it is only in your arms that he finds enough comfort to calm down again. And he holds onto you as though his life depended upon it. And you are his favorite.
The lesson here is clear. To become your child’s favorite, put them in a new and seemingly terrifying situation such that they are so overwhelmed they must regress to their infant state to feel safe.
And it will be glorious to be your child’s favorite once again. Only you. It means your child really, truly loves you best. It also means that despite having two feet that walk & a stroller to ride in, he will want you and only you to carry him throughout the entire magic kingdom. The magic kingdom is 107 acres, and you get to carry him across all of it. Yep, just you. His favorite.
Um, so, just asking for a friend here…how do you get un-favorited again?