A 4-year-old girl and her dad

I found myself on the losing end of an intense battle of Sorry this week.

The game started as normal, but halfway through I realized I was the loner destined to lose to my husband and 4-year-old daughter, Nicole, who had ganged up against me. They were on separate teams, but somehow had created an unspoken loyalty to take me out at any opportunity while saving each other.

And then, the world crumbled. My Nicole drew a Sorry card, and since she and her dad were the only two players out, she would have to knock her dad off the board. This was devastating news.

Nicole scanned the board, desperate to find another solution wherein she could maintain her daddy-daughter blood oath. She sprawled on the ground and cried when the gravity of the situation set in.

Real tears. Huge crocodile tears.

And then, in a moment of sheer brilliance, Nicole sat up with an enormous grin. She bravely grabbed her red playing piece, lifted it high above the board, and swooped down to knock her own man off the board.

That’s right: She kamikaze’d herself to save her daddy. Dad went on to a resounding victory, which prompted a 30-minute celebratory daddy-daughter hugfest.

As I watched this shameless display, I couldn’t help feeling a tad jealous. I also silently hoped to never find myself in a drowning-in-a-lake, Nicole-can-only-save-one-of-us type of situation. I would lose — big time. Every time.

Nicole and her dad have a special bond. I am not part of it. She always gets his favorite color balloon at the store. She always wants to make him his favorite treats. She suicides herself in board games, for crying out loud.

I can’t compete with that.

And honestly, I don’t want to. I’m happy to marvel at their relationship. I know she loves me, but I’ll never replace Daddy.

Besides, I’ve got an 18-month-old daughter whom I’m actively wooing to be on my team — at least for game night.

Are your kids particularly close to one parent? Do you ever get jealous if it’s not you?

Erin Stewart is a regular blogger for Deseret News. From stretch marks to the latest news for moms, Stewart discusses it all while her 4-year-old daughter crams Mr. Potato Head pieces in her little sister’s nose.

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