I am happy to share a guest post with you today. I've mentioned my friend Molly here on the blog before. And besides how cute and inviting her house is, it's her sense of humor that I find the most endearing. So when she wrote this hilarious essay for our monthly M.O.P.S. newsletter, I just had to share it here on my blog as well. If you're like Molly and I's households, Daddy is the favorite parent. Read on...
I Can't Get No Respect by Molly Henry
It’s hard being a mom, and not just because your daughter doesn’t like corduroy.
But who can blame them, really. When my husband Matt is home, anything goes. All reasonable standards of nutrition and grooming are up for grabs-- we’re talking Dunkin’ Donuts and Gatorade for breakfast, and no one hovering with a cold washcloth to wipe the Bavarian Cream mustache away.
It’s not just his flagrant disregard for the food pyramid that elicits their devotion. Each weekend I marvel when he’s able to drum up their exuberance with the lamest of offerings, eliciting screams of pleasure by announcing a quick family jaunt to Sears Hardware for a bag of grass feed. Meanwhile, my carefully planned play dates and excursions are met with begrudging grunts of appreciation. “Guess what, kids? Mommy’s taking you to an amusement park featuring all of your favorite Bubble Guppies characters! I’ve packed donuts and Skittles for lunch! I’ve rented a limousine driven by a clown to take us there! And maybe we can buy a pony on the way home!”
Don’t get me wrong, I like the guy. I’m thrilled that my kids adore their father. And I recognize how fortunate I am to have such a strong parenting partner. He is always willing to bear the brunt of unpleasant obligations: taking them to the gas station bathroom, removing their splinters, strapping them into their car seats in the freezing cold. He’s let me sleep in on Saturdays for the past 5 years, for heaven’s sake.
It’s just that, deep down, I think I believe parenting should be a meritocracy wherein the one who makes the most peanut butter sandwiches and teaches the most phonics wins.
And it’s clearly not.
I recently fell ill with a bad case of strep throat and was confined to my sick bed for the better part of 2 days. My children responded to my incapacitation in much the same way that one would to a Cinco de Mayo parade or a free appetizer. For them, it just meant the joy of all daddy, all the time. While I tossed and turned in my feverish state, our 3 year-old Jude, the very definition of a mama’s boy, could be heard enthusiastically high-fiving his newly christened “Best Buddy”.