The golden boy

No! In our house, Daddy gets the biggest slice!

No! In our house, Daddy gets the biggest slice!

Some people think I play favourites with my two sons. There are certainly valid reasons for this perception.

For instance, I tend to speak to my 7 year-old elder son, L, with a more gentle demeanour, but only because he is such a sensitive boy who can sometimes take things too much to heart.

I also admittedly talk about L a lot more to outsiders – a practice that merely reflects his burgeoning achievements (at school, in sports, even at home), owing to his conscientiousness and general desire to appease those in authority.

However, that external perception cannot be further from the internal truth. Indeed, the truth of the whole matter is: I adore my younger, soon-to-be 5 year-old son, C, like words cannot describe.

Granted, he has a volcanic temper and infuriating stubborness that can drive you up the wall, and make you want to jump over to the other side, madly running away “One flew over the cuckoo’s nest” style.

On the other hand, C boasts such an enormous heart for such a small boy.

If a friend or a cousin trips over while running around silly in a playground, C is usually the only kid who actually stops and show genuine concern about whether the fallen comrade is OK.

Whenever I scold L for being too rough on his younger brother, C would invariably come to L’s defence, telling me that he’s alright and convey the impression that he doesn’t want me to be too harsh on his ‘bro. He would do this even while sporting a huge purple bruise on his forehead – the product of an accidental (or otherwise) head-butt from his much harder-headed brother during a wrestling match.

He also has an amazing sense of humour for someone who won’t be 5 until next month. Just the other day, I said to him: “C, don’t tell mummy I gave you jelly snakes for morning snack, ok?“. His dead-pan reply, but with a mischievous twinkle in his eyes, was: “What jelly snakes, daddy?!“.

Sometimes, C can crack me up even when he is on the verge of cracking me up with his trademark stubbornness. For instance, a couple of months ago, he decided that he didn’t like mandarins anymore. Despite many hours of cajoling, threatening and pleading, the boy simply refused to eat mandarins. On the other hand, C can devour oranges as if they are jelly snakes. The only problem for me (and this may well be a function of me being a useless man or a lazy parent, or both) is the hassle of cutting up oranges, whereas mandarins can be easily peeled by hand without creating any mess.

So I recently devised this brilliant idea of peeling a mandarin and then presenting it to his Royal Highness as a ‘small orange’. The first time I did this, he was sceptical but ate it, savouring each and every piece. However, I could tell that C knew it was a mandarin. And he knew that I knew that he knew it was a mandarin. Nevertheless, we played along with the charade, so that he gets to ‘save face’ and I get to tell my wife that I managed to feed the boy some fruit.

That was 2 months ago. And, to this day, C and I play this pretend game whenever I give him a ‘small orange’, each secretly knowing damn well that we’re dealing with a freaking mandarin!

I’m imagining the day when I’m a slurring 80 year-old, being hand-fed a mandarin by my 45 year-old second son C, as he says to me: “Dad, do you remember when I was a kid, you used to feed me mandarins and tell me they were ‘small oranges’?“. To which I would reply: “What mandarins?!“.

Yes, compared to his more compliant older brother, C can be hard to manage and is disproportionately responsible for the rate at which I’m losing my hair. However, he more than compensates for it with his fundamental good nature and a big heart of gold. And whenever I come home to that lovable rogue running to me and giving me a hug with a cheeky smile firmly planted on his face … well, let’s just say I forget why I sometimes get ulcers dealing with him.

Having said all this, I don’t mind people maintaining the perception that I show favouritism for my elder son. I don’t mind it because C, with all his intelligence and street-smarts, knows that I adore him just as much as I adore his brother.

Indeed, I already think that C thinks that I think he’s my favourite. And as long as he thinks that, what do we care what others think?

Keep on pounding.

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27 thoughts on “The golden boy

  1. Jess

    I have two boys who are like night and day, and My big one thinks I am easier on my little one and love him more. Little guy has autism so he gets a different kind of attention. I told big one that when you have kids your heart grows so you fit love for all the kids. I dunno. They probably don’t care but use it to Manipulate us!

    Reply
    1. The Jogging Dad Post author

      No, don’t laugh! Sometimes I do feel like waking up, going to the counter and say “Mmm, today I feel really good so can I please have the energetic one? But tomorrow I may be exhausted so I will swap for the quiet one”!

      Reply
  2. nancytex2013

    What a great post to wake up to — so lovely! Having one of each, I never stopped to consider that two same sex children would also bring out favouritism. ๐Ÿ™‚ The old adage ‘daddy’s girl’ and ‘momma’s boy’ definitely holds true in my home. My daughter can do no wrong where my husband is concerned, and my son walks on water, as far as I’m concerned. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Reply
    1. The Jogging Dad Post author

      You know, in the back of my mind, I always wish I had a girl and I would’ve spoilt her silly. But, no, we’re in no state whatsoever to have another one. And, even if we did, it would most likely be another boy!

      Reply
  3. TIA

    Each one has so many different things to offer don’t they? When people ask me if I have a favorite, I generally say I just love them each differently:)…. Some days I still have least favorites though!!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply
  4. Miss Pip

    aaawwwh! Turning forty has made you a sentimental old bastard hasn’t it? I couldn’t bear it if my girls were all the same…. the thought terrifies me! They each have their own special way of driving me towards an early grave and that is what I love about them.

    Reply
  5. kerbey

    Your Texan follower has no clue what a jelly snake is. When I start reading your posts, I hear John Cleese’s voice in my head because the writing sounds British, but then I have to remind myself that you are Australian, and I don’t know how to hear your voice other than Steve Irwin or Keith Urban. Example: we say versatile as “ver-suh-tie-uhl,” but I imagine you say it some fancy smart-sounding way like “ver-suh-tull.” I imagine your boys sound very intelligent as well.

    Reply
    1. The Jogging Dad Post author

      Well, I have a normal Aussie accent, perhaps not as strong as Steve Irwin. But many people have said I resemble de Niro in terms of the way I talk and my general mannerism. As for jelly snake, it’s just a confectionery jelly in the shape of a long skinny snake – I buy it for the kids but end up eating of most of them myself.

      Reply

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