Siblings are Not Supposed to Compete for Parental Favoritism | is This True

What, are familial relationships not about winning? I’m sorry, I’m an only child, I never had to compete for parental favoritism with siblings. And I must admit, my son’s essay puts him slightly ahead of his sister in the race for my love. I’m totally kidding. I love them both, but you can’t love them the same, can you?…

As this is the end of the school year, all of my children’s work has slowly trickled into the house. You know, like the way Andy Dufrene releases the bits of wall in Shawshank? Tests, artwork, essays, scraps of scribble.

One of the prizes in the huge pile of things that will never make it to the circular file was a piece on who my son admires most. It started with this line, “I look up to my Dad and my Grandparents, but the person I admire most is my Mom.”

My first thought?

I won! Yep, you heard him. He admires you other people too (or maybe he just wrote that to be politically correct), but I’m in a class by myself. He said so…

What, are familial relationships not about winning? I’m sorry, I’m an only child, I never had to compete for parental favoritism with siblings. And I must admit, his essay puts him slightly ahead of his sister in the race for my love.

I’m totally kidding. I love them both, but you can’t love them the same, can you?

I fear I’ve gotten off track here. Right, I was on his beautiful essay. He went on to talk about the way I make everything better, whether he’s hurt or sad. How I make everything fun, and how I give tons of money to Haiti and Ethiopia. (Which is somewhat true… I don’t know about “tons” and I don’t know about Ethiopia, though I do bring up Ethiopia when my kids don’t eat anything on their plates. This is an unfortunate repercussion of growing up in the 80’s — a time when parents and Sally Struthers made you really appreciate your food.)

Bottom line: He’s so sweet! I mean, what a lovely tribute to his most favoritist person EVER. Well, the person he admires most, but we all know what that means. As tears welled up in my eyes, a worrisome thought came to mind.

Does he NOT think I’m funny?

Through my teary eyed blurred vision I perused his ode over and over, and no mention of how funny I am, which was insulting, and upsetting, and unsettling. I mean, this is what I do for a living. Well, if you call trading hours of toiling in front of the computer, in a fake office also known as Barnes & Noble, for minimum pay and the hopes of a free pair of stilettos, a living.

Here’s the thing, if you’re a humorist and your own family doesn’t find you funny, well, it’s like being a marriage counselor who’s never had a long term relationship. A sex therapist who’s a virgin. Scout Willis without a fake ID.

In my defense, kid humor is totally different than adult humor, it relies on jokes about puking, pooping, bleeding, the ability to voice what your pets would say, and impersonations of characters you may only see on YouTube. But, I put in the work. I sling knock knock jokes, one liners, puns – I’ve perfected my Annoying Orange, I’ll fart/burp to punctuate a sentence and I can talk diarrhea as easily as Kristin Stewart talks awkward gibberish (seriously, I never know what the hell she’s talking about).

My house is like a Caroline’s for elementary schoolers, but I don’t charge admission — I simply require you laugh at my jokes if you’d like to be fed. Oh, and you mention my hilarity in essays so that years later when you’ve left me for your own families, I’ll have something to read as I rock in the corner of a dark room sucking my thumb. Sheesh, is that too much to ask?

I guess I’ll have to revel in the strong points he mentioned – my ability to “make it all better.” Plus, I should really give more to charity or at least send some of my leftovers to Ethiopia.

To my daughter: You should consider upping your game with the poetry you’ve been writing. I’m gonna need more rhyming if you want to stay competitive.


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22 thoughts on “Siblings are Not Supposed to Compete for Parental Favoritism | is This True

  1. Cherie

    What it wasn’t good enough that he loves you and finds you soothing and consoling, I’d take that any what he doesn’t find you particulary funny or doesn’t mention it in his essay of devotion. Maybe he thought that was not approiate for this forum. Anyway, I think you are funny, not particularly soothing, but funny…lol. Love ya.

  2. Jenny

    Ha! Awesome. I too am an only child who is now a mother of two. (and i have no idea how I’m going to handle the whole sibling relationship/favoritism thing as they get older) Sorry you’re little man didn’t write about how funny you are… maybe he got his humor genes from his dad? Or maybe he’s just too cool to put in writing that his mom is funny… I’m sure he has an image to uphold. In any event, I think your funny and enjoyed this post. The end.

  3. Alison

    Well as you know we think you are hilarious—so if your ungrateful child cannot see that then “NO SOUP FOR YOU!”

    Hysterical entry, thanks for starting everyday with a smile and a giggle!

  4. Bari

    As the younger sibling to my brother I can vouch for the competitive nature of love and rivalry. I grew up thinking that my mom believed my brother “walked on water”. You know how moms adore their sons. Well, I got him back alright, I was the apple of my father’s eye. You know, dad’s and their daughters.

  5. vickie

    I’m an only child too — and I’ve often wondered about loving kids “the same” too, since I’ve never had to experience “sharing” of my parents affection (or my grandparents – I was the only grandkid on both sides of my family too -talk about being the apple of your fam’s eye 🙂 ) Anyway – I do have one son who’s still too little to write, but I can only hope to aspire to be the POSITIVE subject of his school essay one day….Props to you for that major accomplishment 🙂

    1. Jenny from the blog Post author

      Wow you must be extremely attention starved at all times. I love that about you. My kids are also the onlies as I married an only. Between the two of us we don’t know what the hell to do. Divide and conquer. That’s what I like to scream in total frustration. I’m sure your little one will write a ton of essays about you. Just hope they’re mostly positive.

  6. Karen Baitch Rosenberg

    Competing for attention is what they’re all about! Trying to hide which one is REALLY our favorite is up to us :). (Just kidding girls.) And in my next life – like there is one? – I want to be your kid, Jenny.

  7. Christene

    I have a favorite too… also because this particular kid loves me more than the other… or at least I think…. I don’t know… they are itsy bitsy so I can only assume…. but anyway, totally know what you mean!

    1. Jenny from the blog Post author

      Christene – Ha! I won’t tell. It’ll change anyway, some days it’ll be who annoys you the least. Some days it’ll be who’s the mushiest. Somedays it’ll be even, some days it’ll be which one brings you your cell phone when you ask for it. Oh, yeah they do stuff like that. It’s great, you can totally train them. In fact one just brought me a glass of water and the other brought one with ice to up the one before. See, who says competition is bad?

  8. Dad

    I know where the funny Gene came from. Your son will someday see and love your humor. If your articles were about Poop, puke, or decapitations he’d be your biggest fan. Right now you’ll have to settle for being tops in his Mommy department.

  9. Parker Hills

    When I initially commented I clicked the -Notify me when new feedback are added- checkbox and now every time a comment is added I get 4 emails with the same comment. Is there any means you may remove me from that service? Thanks!

    1. Jenny from the blog Post author

      I’m so sorry that totally sucks! I don’t know why that is happening. I have no control over the comment notification it’s generated by wordpress, but there should be an opt out the bottom of the email LMK if you see something like that. I will try on my end to see if I can get into it here.
      XO Jenny. Should I reply 4 times to make this feel normal? LOL


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