Daddy's Girl

It’s not fair — I want to be the favorite.

My daughter is about the biggest daddy’s girl I’ve ever seen. Each morning we go through a tortuous ritual where 14-month-old Nicole realizes her daddy is leaving for work and so she holds onto his leg and wails.

I even say encouraging things like,”OK, say goodbye to daddy,” but Nicole just waves at me and follows Kyle out the door. A 10-minute crying fit follows with Nicole pathetically holding her hand to the door and looking at me like, “Why would you do this to me?”

I just don’t get it. I’m with her all day, every day. We play together, and when daddy’s not around, she showers me with smiles and kisses. But when he walks through the door I don’t get as much as a backwards glance.

I wonder if Nicole has a system for picking her favorite parent. I imagine her scorecard would look something like this:

Mommy: changes me, feeds me, bathes me, plays with me all day, finds educational activities for me, buys me toys, researches my rashes, worries about what foods to give me, gave up a career, has stretch marks, devotes her life to me.

Daddy: Holds me upside down and let’s me draw on myself with markers.

Winner: Daddy by a landslide.

I’m demanding a recount!

But I am glad that Kyle and Nicole have such a good relationship. And as much as I’d love to be the favorite — at least once — there is nothing sweeter than seeing Nicole running — hands high in the air — toward Kyle as he walks through the door.

In those moments, I don’t have to be the favorite; I’m just grateful to be a part of it.

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