As a parent, I try so very hard to not show favoritism to any of my children. My daughter is my favorite because she is my first child after having my first miscarriage, she is my oldest child and only girl. My oldest son is my favorite because he is my second child after having two back to back miscarriages (my second and third), he is my oldest son and has the most easy going, quiet personality. My youngest son is my favorite because he is my third child after suffering miscarriage number four, he is the baby and is wicked smart.
When I post things on Facebook (which is not very often), I try to make sure there are not more posts about one child over the others. Each child holds one-third of my heart. I love all three of them intensely and unconditionally.
Well, I happened to scroll through the news feed on Facebook earlier tonight. I happened to come across pictures of Mr Potato Head’s Baby Number 6. Why would this bother me, you may be wondering. It’s simple, really. This man is an idiot.
Mr Potato Head has two children from Wife Number 1. He has two children from Wife Number 2 (me). He has one child from Wife Number 3 and one from Wife Number 4. The oldest two are in their mid-30s. My two are in their mid- to late-20s. Child Number 5 is going on 10 (I think). Baby Number 6 just turned ONE. (Mr Potato Head is going to be 60 in a couple of weeks.) The oldest four never really had him in their lives. Child Number 5 remained with Mr Potato Head after Divorce Number 3. (The only reason for that was because he did not want to have to pay child support.)
What really hams my biscuits in this instance is the fact he is ONLY posting about Baby Number 6. Before this latest addition, he would always post things/pictures of Child Number 5. He could not for the oldest four because they really do not have much of a relationship with him. Essentially, he alienated them.
What the hell kind of message is he sending to his other five children?! Does he not think it will have an impact on them? Does he not think how hurtful he is being to them?
As a fact, I wrote a letter to Mr Potato Head back in December essentially saying the same things. I was going to try to explain why my oldest son carries so much bitterness and resentment toward him. I never sent it to him. As all of my children are adults and in their 20s, they are more than capable of fighting their own battles . . . No matter how much the Mama Bear in me wants to do it for them. This is what I said then (I have removed the actual names out of respect for the children) . . .
Normally, when it comes to things that transpire between you, Child Number 3 and Child Number 4, I let it happen without commenting. However, this is not going to be one of those times. When it comes to my children, you KNOW I am a Momma Bear. When they are hurt, I go into overdrive protection mode. They are adults now and perfectly capable of expressing themselves – which they do very well. But there are a few things I want to make known to you because you truly do not have a clue. Some of what I have to say is going to piss you off. You know me. You know I speak my mind and I lay the truth out. I have no reason to lie nor do I have any reason to sugar-coat anything to you. I’m just going to lay out the facts as I see them from this parent’s point of view.
This has to do with Child Number 4. You have hurt him deeply – VERY VERY VERY deeply. It started when you announced you weren’t going to make it to his high school graduation because you were taking your oldest two children and granddaughters to Yosemite. When he got in the car after finding that out, he turned to me with tears streaming down his face and asked, “What’s wrong with me? Why don’t I count? I’m one of his fucking kids, too! I’m his namesake for fuck’s sake! What did I ever do to him to make him not want to be there for me?!” I had to answer him honestly that I did not know. I told him I could not answer for you and he would have to ask you himself since he was now the adult.
Do you remember being given a guilt trip by Child Number 3 for it? She was livid that you hurt her brother!
This was followed by you not making it to his Marine Corps Boot Camp Graduation . . . A once in a lifetime event . . . One of the most important in Child Number 4’s life. You had almost a full year to prepare for it. Child Number 4 feels you should have been there and was hurt beyond what any words can describe by your absence. For me, personally, I would have moved Heaven and Hell to be there because I know what it takes to earn the title of U.S. Marine. YOU know what it takes to earn that title. And yet, Child Number 4 was relegated to the back burner.
Those are the two biggest things that have caused the greatest hurt to Child Number 4. HOWEVER . . . There are other things such as finding out about your marriage to Wife Number 3 via a generic email sent to everybody and their brother. No personal phone call. No nothing. (This was before the age of Facebook.)
You have Child Number 5. For the longest time, you were posting stuff about him all over Facebook. You rarely, if ever, mentioned Child Number 1, Child Number 2, Child Number 3 or Child Number 4. All four of them noticed that. Do not think for a minute they didn’t.
Then there is this whole new marriage and new baby. We won’t even get into that because Child Number 3 and Child Number 4 let me know they said their piece to you.
The bottom line is this . . . Child Number 4 feels as though he does not exist for you. You occasionally tag him in a post. You tag Child Number 3 more than him. Because he feels like he doesn’t exist for you, he wants nothing to do with you. It is all on you.
When the kids were little, I did my damnedest to NOT disparage you in front of them. I wanted them to grow up and form their own opinions of you. Trust me, it took A LOT for me to do that. Because believe it or not, I did want them to have a relationship with their father.
Anyway, I wanted to help you understand where Child Number 4 is coming from and why he is so bitter toward you. Maybe you can establish some sort of relationship before it is way too late.
Child Number 4’s wounds are deep and he definitely holds grudges for a VERY VERY VERY VERY VERY VERY VERY VERY VERY VERY long time.
I’ve noticed there appears to be a pattern where his children are concerned. Once he has divorced the previous wife and remarried, the children of said marriage get shoved to the back burner once a new child arrives.
I ALMOST feel sorry for him. Only almost. God does not like ugly. He will reap what he has sown. When he is laying at Death’s Door, his children may or may not be there. His children will be sad their father has passed away, but they will not mourn his loss as deeply as the will when their mothers pass. He has no one to blame except himself.
I am able to sleep peacefully at night because I allowed my children to form their own opinions regarding Mr Potato Head and Mr I-Do-Not-Have-Children-To-Pass-My-Legacy-On-To (My youngest son’s father). I rarely disparaged Mr Potato Head in front of my oldest two. (Sometimes this was painfully difficult.) Up until two years ago, I did not have negative thoughts or feelings toward my youngest son’s father. (Just thinking about what he said to my son sets my teeth on edge and makes my blood pressure skyrocket! A story definitely left for another day!)
In the end, my children KNOW I am there for them. They KNOW I love them unconditionally. And I hope they know I try very hard to not play favorites.
Some people truly should not have children . . .