Too much, too young...
Words from a Bird. Day 68.
When you have access to as many kids as I do, the question often arises as to which one is the 'favourite'. This is daughter number 1's most frequent statement when we're all together, and to be honest, over the last 14 years, she has said it so many times that the rest of the kids have been brainwashed into believing that it actually might be true.
Of course, as a parent, you never have favourites. There might be the odd occasion when one might nip in front of the others for a nano-second (such as when son number 2 bought me the lovely bracelet for Mother's Day) and there are also times when one of them might fall slightly behind (such as when son number 2 left his room looking like 1945 Dresden this morning) but for the whole there are no favourites, and I love them all the same.
However, here is the crux of the matter...over breakfast this morning, the husband and son number 2 were discussing where they came in the family pecking order, and both of them agreed that whichever rung of the ladder of love they were currently standing on, one thing was for sure, Percy would be above them both.
My argument for this was that Percy is more dependent on me. He's useless at opening doors, and can't use a can opener, so he relies on me far more than any of the kids and husband do. 'Aah', said son number 2, 'But you do so much more for him than he actually needs you too. Most dogs only need one walk a day, and can be left on their own for hours. You need to keep him entertained all day, which I don't think is really necessary'.
It was at this point that I looked at son number 2 and thought about all the times I have sat and built Lego with him, the Horrid Henry stories I have read him time and time again, and the Warhammer games I have played and pretended to understand. I thought about the special meals I have made him, and the History prep which I have contributed to (got a House Point once..)
And it was then that I realised that I had been doing this whole parenting thing wrong all this time. Apparently, there is a very good chance that he would have been quite happy sitting on his own in the middle of the kitchen floor, content with an hour's play once a day, and eating the same meal day in, day out. Wish he'd let me know this at the time. The things I could have done...
Having said that, they do have a couple of things in common. Percy and son number 2 have both suffered the indignity of regular flea checks and worming tablets over the years.
So not very different after all...