Sometimes, when my eight-year-old
helps me unload the dishwasher, he's the one. And then he goes and wrecks it by smashing a plate. Deliberately.
Other times, it's the youngest, especially when he climbs on my knee for a cuddle - but then ruins the moment by licking my face.
And then there's the oldest, who also goes to number one spot in my affections on the oh-so-rare occasions she tidies her room without being nagged. But then wrecks the sentiment by asking for payment for the task.
Yes, all of my children are my favourites at one time or another – and I also rather dislike them all from time-to-time. But, according to research, some parents favour one child
all of the time.
The anonymous survey of British parents revealed that one in 12 mums and dads admitted they had a favourite child - someone they treated differently because they liked them more!
Over a quarter of those who admitted having a favourite said that it was an older child who they felt they could do 'more things' with.
The most common reason for having a favourite was because parents felt they had a 'stronger bond' with the child (42 per cent), while 13 per cent said it was because their other child or children misbehaved more.
Of those who confessed they did not give their children equal attention, 45 per cent claimed it was because they had 'different needs', while a fifth said it was simply because they saw their children for different amounts of time.
The poll, which involved 1,237 parents with at least two children aged three or over, also asked those who had siblings about how their own parents had treated them. And nearly half said they felt that their parents had a favourite child when they were younger.
Mark Pearson of shopping discount website MyVoucherCodes.co.uk
, which carried out the research, said: "Most parents agree with the fact that you can't necessarily give the same amount of attention to all children, only because every child is different. It will always sound insensitive to admit that you have a 'favourite child' but I guess it's more about sharing more with one than the other."
So, be honest, do you?
- ...saving me pennies on the phone bill
Just imagine how many calls I might have made by now if the phone was EVER where it should be on its cradle! The telepathy thing isn't coming on that brilliantly, though, if I'm honest. Daddy never seems to receive the message 'bring more wine'.</p>
- ...decorating the house
You’re right. We really were very unimaginative when we painted it in shades of off white, hoping to achieve stylish spaces that exuded light and airiness. That big smear of chocolate you made by wiping your cheek on the wall in the living room actually matches the cushions! And should I ever enter the house and forget where the kitchen is, the line you drew with non-washable felt-tip the entire length of the wall in the hall will show me the way.</p>
- ...boosting the local economy...
...by, for example, providing work for the exterminators, who come to catch the mice, who come to eat the food that you somehow manage to deposit, in minute amounts, all over the house in places that should be impossible to get to.</p>
- ...the interesting beauty regimes
I do remember reading that avocado is excellent for one's skin – although I’m not sure about your particular method of mixing it with snot, and transferring it from your face to mine with that expert lunge/sweep manoeuvre. Especially when I already have my make-up on.</p>
- ...for helping me make new friends...
...such as the woman who answers calls for the emergency services.</p>
- ...all the long weekends...
...which are always extended by several hours, what with your fascinating ability to wake up at 5am every Saturday and Sunday (or sometimes, amazingly enough, even earlier if it’s one of those rare occasions that I went out the night before).</p>
- ‚Ä¶filling the silences in the house...
...with giggles, farts, excruciatingly high-pitched screams, the brain-numbing babble of battery toys and – rather brilliantly, even when you are sleeping soundly in your bed – a deafening roar when we turn on the stereo, which you have invariably switched on to maximum volume.</p>
- ...not to mention the silences everywhere else...
...like in the library, for example, when we returned your story books and you were sad to see them go. I'm not sure, when the sweet librarian suggested you could take home a different Peppa Pig book, it was an entirely appropriate response to turn purple, scream bloody murder and repeatedly try to bite her. But still, she didn't call the police or anything.</p>
- ...making my heart swell...
...not only with the love I have for you, but also with adrenaline – when I catch you on the third 'rung' of the bookshelf, because you have realised there's a valuable vase up at the top (possibly the only thing in the room you haven't yet licked).</p>
- ... teaching me the true value of money
I thought, what with frivolous purchases of Jimmy Choos and luxurious make-up having been replaced by cautious purchases of Start-Rites and Johnsons wipes, I had learned to appreciate it. But what really clinched it for me, I think, was looking up just as you posted that £20 note through the minuscule gap between the wall and the fireplace.</p>
- ...helping me garden
I understand that waiting for those tomatoes to turn red is just too much for you. Never mind. After months of tending those plants (which I grew from seed by the way, do you remember?), rather than plucking ripe juicy tomatoes for glorious summer salads, I will just look up recipes for green tomato chutneys which will take up space in the cupboard for all eternity – or until we move house.</p>
- ...being so honest
Like when you pointed at my thighs, laughing, and said: 'jelly!' it was a turning point for me. Really.</p>
- ...being right next to me when I woke up this morning
The fact that you prised open my sleepy eyelid, and then tried to lick my eyeball, is by the by. Even if not quite THAT close up, just like every other morning of my life, you were still the very first thing I wanted to see.</p>