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Ask Amy: Do grandparents favor male child over baby girl?

DEAR AMY: My new daughter is almost 4 months old, and I feel as though my in-laws don’t love her as much as they do her male cousin, who is 2.

They take the boy for sleepovers and are always buying him toys but don’t do these things for my daughter.

When everyone is together, not nearly as much attention is focused on my baby, compared with her little cousin. They are Middle Eastern, so I know it’s common for them to place higher value on boys as opposed to girls, but I always thought that this wouldn’t be the case in my situation.

This breaks my heart. Our baby is young now, but once she is older, then she will definitely be aware of the favoritism, which I won’t be able to tolerate. Am I overreacting?

My husband says it’s because she is so young right now and that they will be showing her the same love once she’s older. -- Upset Mom

DEAR MOM: You are overreacting, but it is understandable. Your in-laws have had two years to get to know their grandson, and if he is their first grandchild, they may have a powerful attachment to him. You should assume that as your daughter grows, she will coo, smile and toddle her way into their hearts too.

What you must not do is to continue to project your hurt feelings onto your young daughter. If this favoritism continues, your insecurity and anger about it will only highlight the imbalance for your child.

Good grandparents, like good parents, learn that they have ample room in their hearts for all of the children in their lives. They may not love each child in the exact same way, but they love them individually and abundantly.

Give your in-laws opportunities to hold and enjoy her. See if they want to have her with them for two or three hours one afternoon while you run an errand or two. This will give them a chance to get to know her gradually.

DEAR AMY: My one true love and I met 12 years ago. I was divorced and at the time he was separated from his wife.

We hit it off like fireworks. I didn’t know that he was also seeing someone else at the time. After my four months of bliss with him, his ex-wife decided she wanted to make another go of it for their kids’ sake. I told him I didn’t want to stand in his way.

It didn’t last long and the marriage broke up again.

He then told me a few weeks later that he was back with the girl he was with before he dated me. They got married. They have two small kids (ages 7 and 3). Recently he’s been texting me and e-mailing, saying he misses and loves me. He has told me his wife only loves his bank account.

I am single and my heart still aches for him. But I’m worried how it will turn out. Help me, Amy! -- Hopeless & Confused

DEAR HOPELESS: This guy has a terrible track record. Simply put, he cannot be alone, and rather than work on his own issues, he bounces between women.

You seem to be his “go-to” bounce.

He now has two sets of children with two different wives. If you choose to be with him, know that you will also be embroiled with his other wives and kids. It is a heavy lift to be involved with someone who cannot stay married and cannot be alone. Play this out, but don’t marry him, unless you want to be his next ex-wife.

DEAR AMY: “Linda From Michigan” wrote about a loud phone yakker in a coffee shop.

My husband, one of the most courteous people I’ve ever met, had an ingenious solution. When someone next to him in a quiet corner of a bookstore (no less!) began talking loudly on a cellphone, he simply started reading aloud at the same volume from the medical text he was perusing.

That worked pretty quickly! I recommend it. -- Sophronia in Cambridge, Mass.

DEAR SOPHRONIA: Some bookstores have prohibitions on cellphone use. I like your husband’s reaction.

Amy’s column appears seven days a week at Write to Amy Dickinson at or Ask Amy, Chicago Tribune, TT500, 435 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, Ill. 60611.

2014 by the Chicago Tribune



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