I see what's going on here. You don't want me to get you dressed. You don't want me to brush your teeth or hair or bring you to the potty or sit next to you at dinner. And, you don't want to cuddle with me in the morning.
Mommy is your favorite.
I realize that you are only 3 years old, but I am asking you to stop rejecting me. It makes Daddy sad.
Look, I agree that Mommy is pretty awesome. You wouldn't be here if I thought otherwise. And, it's true that Mommy breastfed you and got up with you in the middle of the night much more than I did, and that she comforted you more when you were sick. But, that wasn't because I loved you less. It was mostly because of the breastfeeding. And, also I was tired.
But, who's the first person you run to when you want to be carried? Not Mommy! And, who helps you fly through the air like a superhero or flip upside down? Not Mommy! And, who has the most fun with you during bath time? Not Mommy!
How can you forget all the great bike rides we've had together? How can you overlook all the wonderful one-on-one trips we've taken to museums, and parks, and playgrounds, and bookstores? And, what about all the toys I've bribed you with? Have I just been throwing money away?
I guess I am wondering when you will become "Daddy's little girl" because that's what I was promised. And, I'm pretty sure you don't want to turn all the random people who offered me advice on this issue into liars.
Sweetheart, I really love how certain you are of what you want, and I hope your strength and passion (and ability to scream) make you a great leader someday. I just want you to take it easy on me. Especially in the morning when I'm getting your milk and Cheerios and putting on the T.V. show you are demanding, and you are screaming in my face for Mommy.
Here's something you don't know: When you were born, you weren't breathing. You entered the world blue and lifeless and I was the one who saw that most frightful thing and felt life end and wanted so badly to hear you wail at the top of your lungs. I've never been so scared or felt so powerless. So, truthfully, I love to hear you breathing, even if sometimes it means you are yelling at me. I just want you to breathe more and yell less. And, I want to be your favorite.
Oh, well. There's always your little sister. I think she likes me.
"Having a staring contest with a newborn is one of the weirdest things you will ever do. And it is highly recommended." -Ross McCammon
"Above all, children need our unconditional love, whether they succeed or make mistakes; when life is easy and when life is tough." -President Obama
"Blessed indeed is the man who hears many gentle voices call him father!" -Lydia M. Child
"You fathers will understand. You have a little girl. She looks up to you. You're her oracle. You're her hero." -Stanley T. Banks, Father of the Bride
"Do I want to be a hero to my son? No. I would like to be a very real human being. That's hard enough." -Robert Downey Jr.
"A new father quickly learns that his child invariably comes to the bathroom at precisely the times when he's in there, as if he needed company." - Bill Cosby
"I thought I would be more inspired to have all these new feelings to talk about, but I really just want to hang out with my daughter." Jay-Z
"The reward of child rearing is spending the rest of your life proudly knowing this person you helped guide. Let him be himself." -Mike Sager
"I want my son to wear a helmet 24 hours a day." -Will Arnett
"This is my most important role. If I fail at this, I fail at everything." -Mark Wahlberg
"It is admirable for a man to take his son fishing, but there is a special place in heaven for the father who takes his daughter shopping."-John Sinor
"It is much easier to become a father than to be one." -Kent Nerburn, Letters to My Son: Reflections on Becoming a Man
"Lately all my friends are worried that they're turning into their fathers. I'm worried that I'm not." -Dan Zevin
"By the time a man realizes that maybe his father was right, he usually has a son who thinks he's wrong." -Charles Wadsworth
"Few sons are like their fathers - many are worse, few better." -Homer, The Odyssey
"It was times like these when I thought my father, who hated guns and had never been to any wars, was the bravest man who ever lived. "-Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird
"Father! - To God himself we cannot give a holier name." -William Wordsworth
Follow Ariel Chesler on Twitter: www.twitter.com/arielchesler