The Golden Parent

Everyone knows that if you have more than one kid there’s a favorite. Each parent may have their own favorite, or they might share a favorite, but there’s always a favorite. Siblings have known this since since biblical times. And, parents have been using this simple fact to play siblings off of each other to get somebody to empty the damn dishwasher for God’s sake! for just as long.

What most parents don’t like to admit is that the same favoritism is a fact of life for them as well. There is a Golden Parent, and as with Immortals:

For the first four years I could do no wrong. I was funny. I was smart. I was the best. I was the favorite. Then, like a vortex forming the moment we entered the Bermuda Triangle that is the fourth year on planet Earth I was sucked into the void. Now, I’m officially the worst.

I was immediately and completely crushed. The sense of betrayal was intense. But, after I moped around for a bit generally feeling bad for myself and bemoaning the terrible state of our relationship I decided to suck it up, grow a pair and be a man.

And a week later I did just that. That was when I realized that I had neglected a few things during my reign as The Golden Parent. I pass these learnings on to you at no cost. They really won’t make much of a difference because eventually you’ll find yourself on both sides of the fence, but hopefully it will shorten your reign as the worst.

  1. You actually have to kinda try. You see — when you’re the Golden Parent you fart rainbows. Everything you do is awesome, fun and funny. When you’re not you have to actually plan activities. You have to think about things in advance. And you have to have a backup when that plan inevitably doesn’t work — because don’t forget — you’re the worst.
  2. You have to roll with the punches. This one is hard, especially for me. But sometimes you really just have to remember that you’re the adult and arguing with a four year old about whether or not she’s supposed to do belly flops on the couch is a lose-lose.
  3. Remember what it feels like. Not what it feels like to be The Golden Parent, but what it feels like to not be the Chosen One. You do this because eventually the schizophrenic pendulum that is life with a child will have you back on the right side of the law and your partner is going to need some support. And that’s hard to muster when you’re the best.

The last thing parenting should feel like is a Quickening:

Originally published at on October 16, 2015.