I’m getting some feedback from my friends and family on a post I wrote earlier this week.

I told the story of our family came to be. My wife (then my girlfriend) got pregnant after we had known each other for just two months. We like to say that Zacharie chose us before we ever had a chance to really choose each other.

People were moved by the story, but at the same time their backs got up at one line:

If I were to be absolutely honest, my older son is my favorite child of the two. He and I are adventurous partners in crime, and I can’t imagine life without him. He was an accident waiting to happen, and I’m so glad it did.
DadCAMP on Kid Scoop

“Love your honesty, as usual,” commented Shannon. “Although that ‘favorite kid’ part could hurt someone’s feelings one day!!”

Yes, I have a favorite son and I’m not ashamed to admit it. I’m guessing you could look deep in the mirror and admit you have a favorite too.

My choosing Zacharie as my favorite is not about ‘playing favorites,’ or ‘preferential treatment’ when I’m parenting.  I don’t let Zacharie get away with anything because he’s my first pick, I just .. y’know .. like him better.

I’ve admitted that while I loved my sons the minute they were born, I didn’t really fall in love with them until they could do stuff. This is the video from the exact moment I fell in love with Zacharie. We were running and laughing and just being silly in a park. He was 26 months old.

Those first 2 years of life were not that exciting for me. My wife loved the babying of our boys, I was wanting them to run, and kick, and play.

From the moment Zacharie became old enough to ‘do stuff’, we have been out doing things: fishingcampinghiking, flying kites, riding trains, going to parks.  So while Z was old enough to get out and have fun, his younger brother was still in the baby stage.

When it comes to weekends when my wife and I divide the boys up to have an easier time running errands, I usually pick Z.

2 weeks ago, aware that I always pick the oldest, my wife suggested I take our youngest out for an adventure. I took Charlie out to see some horses at a show-jumping competition.  There were marching bands, stables, yummy food, and lots of scenery. We had a great time, and I started to fall for him.

This weekend is my Dad’s 70th birthday party. We’re flying out to surprise him with a big fishing trip. I’ll be bringing Z while Charlie stays behind with my wife.  The flights weren’t cheap, and while I’d love to have brought the whole family, it’s easier to go fishing with a 5 yr old than a 2 yr old.

I admit it, my oldest son is my favorite because he can do more things.  To me, he’s more fun.  I don’t loveeither of my sons any more than the other, but I do like them differently. I’d be willing to bet you’re the same.

Do you have a favorite child? Why?

**UPDATE** Before you comment, read this quote from author Jeffrey Kluger “95 percent of the parents in the world have a favorite child, and the other percent are lying.”

This is not about preferential treatment. This is not about giving treats to one and not the other. This is me writing about the moments of selfishness when I choose one son over the other because they’re ‘more fun.’

Kluger goes on to say “There’s some value of the parents’ code … never to speak of it.” Well aren’t I the worst parent in the world?

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  1. Karen West September 25, 2012 at 8:19 am

    I commend you for admitting a favorite. Every parent has one and they would be lying if they said otherwise. This doesn’t mean that the parent doesn’t love the other children any less…it just means you have more in common and relate better with this “favorite” child.

    I would be willing to bet that the adverse comments were from parents, that when they were children, they were not the “favorite” one.

  2. Tracy Manzi September 25, 2012 at 8:32 am

    I do believe that parents with more than one child do favor one over the other(s). That doesn’t mean you love that favored child more. The problem is most parents won’t admit this publicly, maybe they don’t even admit it to themselves.

  3. Siouxzie Quinones September 26, 2012 at 8:11 am

    Thank you Buzz for sayin’ it!! Holy smokes, do these people need to settle down and get a grip on their own reality! Of course we love our kids equally and all that… blah blah blah. You know what? This week my son is my favorite! That right ladies! I definitely prefer the company of my 11 year old son over my 19 year old daughter! Any mother with a teenage daughter will fully understand what I’m talkin’ about! However, last week, when she wasn’t on a hunt for her inner b*tch, she was my favorite. Next week? Depends on my mood, their mood and the mood of the household. Any mother, with living children, goes through this and they’re lyin’ if they say different. I can’t imagine that my friends with kids and I are (and I include them all w/o exception) alone in this world. And thank you again Buzz for reminding us that Daddies are no different! Way to go for being the thought provoking writer that you are. You definitely provoked some words that are stickin’ in the craw of a few who just might be in denial.

  4. Kagey September 26, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    Buzz, I have four children very spread apart – 38, 33, 21 and 16. I think the faux pas you made was in using the word “favourite” because it triggered some nerve in people that got them riled. As a mother going on my 39th year in the role, the way I would put it is that you “get along” better with one than the other, or you “understand” and connect easier with one than the other. You said you don’t “do babies” very well. I’m the same way with 9 year olds. Give me a 9 year old (all four of them) and I want to give them back! – until they grow out of that phase. All were delightful as babies and toddlers, some quite enjoyable as teenagers and others just a pure headache in the teen phase. As another write remarked, I believe it ebbs and flows as time moves on and they grow up, but I can still see my relationships with certain of them “easier” and more connected than the others, even now.

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  6. Ian September 27, 2012 at 10:26 am

    Clearly you know how to get press and stir the pot
    I think the bigger issue here is how your beautiful little family came to be. Be “honest” all you like about your favourite child. Just wait till it sinks in with your two boys that daddy conceived #1 while still married to someone else. That’s a far bigger issue than you and your flapping jaws about favourite kids.

    Two words of advice – Treat those little human projects of yours with the utmost care and TRY to resist the urge to type whatever pops into your head cause it sounds “awesome” (cue morning-zoo-radio-show sound fx here)… I’m sure all the years in radio make that notion difficult to execute.

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  8. admin September 28, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    Hey Ian, despite the cynicism, this post was not created to ‘get press.’ Many people have written on this topic, mine just happen to have been the post that got caught in the machine. I’m not the first, I won’t be the last. This was a front page cover issue for Time just last October.

    Trust me, I’m very well-adjusted and my boys do not feel unloved. The extreme attacks from small-minded headline readers has blown this issue far beyond a reasonable discussion. Which is a shame.

    Parents having favorites shouldn’t be so taboo. Talking about it has made me aware of where my bias may lie and made me conscious to re-balance the scales. I hope the topic has helped others reflect on their own struggles with parenting.

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