Monday, January 24, 2011
Who's Your Favorite?
I tell our kids that I hope each one feels as though she's the favorite and, being the favorite, I hope she's sensitive to the feelings of her sisters. I must have read that somewhere. I like the way it sounds. But it doesn't work. The truth is I really don't have a favorite and I really do have heapfuls of love for each of them. None of them is particularly satisfied with the response so when the inevitable eye roll comes around, I find it helpful to recall funny stories from when they were younger and the distraction is often hugely helpful. The subject often gets left hanging as we move onto another subject.
Several years ago, a friend of mine shared her experience with this issue and it remains one of my favorite anecdotes. Her middle child (of three) asked which of the three was the mom's favorite. The mom went through all the typical responses and the kid wouldn't let her off the hook. The mom finally said, "listen, you're like the fingers on my hand; you're all different from one another but each one is special in his or her own way and I need and love each one of you and can't imagine my life without any of you." Her daughter, who was 4 at the time, looked up at her mom with big beautiful brown eyes, open wide, and said, "my favorite is my thumb".
Thumb Love. This is the story of Lulu and the thumb that she loved. Lulu was a chronic thumb-sucker. We spend the first half of the book cheering for Lulu and the thumb she loves and the second half of the book cheering for Lulu as she develops and implements a 12-step program to cure her addiction (and doesn't give up even when taunted by her thumb). It's a fun picture book that's perfect for thumb-suckers, people who know thumb-suckers, and people who love to laugh out loud.