I Have A Favorite Child And I Bet You Do, Too
I was talking to my Childhood BFF the other day about whether or not parents have a favorite child. She recently had a daughter and was sharing her fears of having a second child and resenting the baby for taking away some of the love and attention from her older sister.
A nicer person than I might have told her not to worry — that she will love all her children equally. Perhaps the polite thing to do would be to quote her one of those “your heart expands to find more love” memes that make my gag reflex tickle. But when you’ve been friends with someone for longer than the shelf life of a Twinkie, you keep it real. So I told her she is right to worry, because I have a favorite child.
My twin boys were born seven weeks early, and I am very fortunate that they spent minimal time in the NICU before coming home. But they did not come home together. Remy was discharged a full week ahead of his brother. It didn’t happen intentionally, but I found myself more focused on Remy at home than his brother who was still in the NICU.Â With Remy I had my very own Baby Alive doll to feed, change and cuddle, while Lolo was this beautiful porcelain doll at the hospital in a clear box that I could only touch with someone standing right next to me to make sure I didn’t break him.
Even though I went to the hospital to visit Lolo every single day until his homecoming, I found myself unable to focus on him and was filled with anxiety about his brother back at home. In hindsight I’m sure that part of my reluctance to bond with Lolo was psychological — that I was afraid to love him because something may happen to prevent him from coming home. I realize now that this was my own brain trying to protect me. But I beat myself up about it for months. I made a conscious effort to give Lolo all the hugs and kisses that flowed out of me so easily for his brother and I never until now told anyone because I felt like a monster of a mother for not loving my children equally at birth.