For as long as we’ve been together, my husband and I have referred to one another, similar to a name, as “Favorite.” As in “you’re my Favorite.” Or, “Hi, Favorite!” Our version of “Honey” or, shudder, “Baby.”
This went on for years until wee C was born. We were then both wildly aware that she was our favorite. I remember being in the hospital, my husband peering over the plastic bassinet, cooing “hello, Favorite.” I admit a little twinge of jealousy shot through me. But the minute he was out of earshot, I would turn to her and say “hello, Favorite.”
What happened in the second that C was born was that we went from being one another’s favorite to, well, we didn’t know. Just a spouse? Co-parent? Yes, all of these things, but that ring of “favorite” had left the room and latched onto a sleepy, redheaded actual baby.
Over the past year and a half we’ve broached the subject from time to time, timidly asking “am I your favorite anymore?” The other one answering with an “of course – you’re my favorite spouse!” But I sometimes worry that we’ll be overblown by our love and care of wee C that one day, in the not-too-distant future (say, 10, when she thinks we are soooo boring), when she will still be our favorite, that we’ll need to renegotiate our favoritism for one another because she will have no use for us.
We do what we can as the parents of a toddler to hopefully ward off the “who are yous,” making time for dates, listening to stories about books we’re reading, making sure the other has time to pursue passions and interests. All the things one does for a favorite.
And in case I was worried, in my birthday card from last month my husband wrote “You know that you’re my favorite, right? (Well, you and C.)”