Thursday, 26 January 2012

Playing Favourites

Would you admit to having a favourite child?

Both my girls’ godmothers claim I favour the other child so I’m hoping that means I’ve got it right, but how do I know?
I am currently engaged in trying to be proud when Youngest comes home to announce she’s got a B grade… I am not doing well.
I don’t want you to misunderstand! Youngest is an adorable child whose greatest need has always been to be regularly hugged. She is bright, articulate, beautiful and artistic. She is also surly, determined she is right, shockingly untidy and not interested in personal hygiene but likes make-up, nail varnish and perfume. At our first parent teacher meeting at Secondary school we were told that she had scored highly in aptitude tests and was thus expected to be in top sets with top target grades. Thus I can only conclude that, were she at either of her parents’ schools, she would receive reports that stated ‘could do better’. (She does not: her reports are glowing.)
She is not helped by her scary academic sister. Eldest is good at everything – well, if she isn’t good at it she doesn’t try. I believe I have previously recorded the tears over Art homework in Yr 7 because she couldn’t draw realistically (she draws wonderful cartoony concepts for birthday cards). Eldest is in her final year of school, engrossed in A levels, dance and baking. She is on target to achieve good grades and has received offers from all the universities to which she has applied to do Maths. She is pretty, getting better at showing affection and can join in amusing conversation when she chooses to leave her tidy room.
They are my pride and joy. They are my pleasure and my biggest worry. I love them both but recognize that I like different things about them. Inevitably I feel I have probably treated them differently, after all, I learned from the first one, and adapted my methods for the second! Each thinks I favour the other – Eldest’s activities get first dibs on my taxi and use of the front seat; Youngest doesn’t have to eat vegetables, or finish her main course in order to get pudding; and I tidy her room for her (when it all gets too much for me!)… All this is true and, I would argue, shows balance, though others might say I am being unreasonable. Certainly I am guilty of different expectations of their behaviour. Isn’t that what we do with everyone we meet? The relationship is an interactive one informed by previous interactions. I don’t suppose I treat anyone like anyone else. How about you?


Sarah said...

I agree, it's stupid to expect to treat two completely different people in the same way. It doesn't mean you have a favourite, or you do, for 5 minutes and then change to the other one.

I don't have a favourite boy either, but I certainly don't treat them the same. I expect the same basic behaviour of course, but after that, it depends on the child.

libby said...

Gosh what an interesting post......I tell both of my kids that they are my favourite!! Seriously though, as I have one boy and one girl, I don't know wether I have treated them differently or

A Time for Stitching said...

I have one of each too and have consciously tried to treat them as much the same as I can. But it's impossible to treat 2 different people, each with different reactions moods and personalities, exactly the same. I don't believe I have a favourite but, like you, like and dislike different things about each one. Interesting!

keshling said...

Depends on how they're behaving!!!

K xx

projectforty said...

I, like Libby, tell each of mine they are my favourite son/daughter - they saw through that one years ago! I think it's important for all of us to realise that we all have different talents and that to be the same would be boring and a bit pointless. There's no point in everyone discovering the latest atom if there's no-one to write the novels and paint the masterpieces.

I hope I treat my kids the same in relation to love and respect and support but I'm sure there are differences because they can both be charming on one hand and highly irritating on other occasions in their own very special ways!

Curry Queen said...

Your post was so interesting - you could have been describing my two and they're a girl and a boy! I do agree though - you can't help but treat them differently because they are inevitably different characters. And, as I like to say to them, "life's not fair, get used to it!"

hausfrau said...

A relief to discover I'm not alone. I may not treat them the same but I hope I am fair!