It's a good thing I've been insulted so much over the years and have thick skin.

I have a 4-year-old daughter who we'll call Lucy, because that's her name, and who, as I've mentioned in the past, is much cuter, smarter and more intelligent than your children. An excellent example of that intelligence is how she has learned to make it incredibly clear to everyone in a 75-mile radius that her mother is her favorite parent.

I know -- sniff, wah wah, poor me, right?

It makes sense. Her mom makes more money than me, is generally cleaner than me, and can plan ahead for more than 30 minutes into the future. She's proficient at adult conversations, doesn't embarrass herself at parties, and can concentrate on a single topic for more than 15 seconds.

(Michelle Kumata/The Seattle Times/MCT)

I have no problem with this because my daughter still brings me at least three drawings a day of stick figures of various colors, with horribly misshapen limbs, oversized feet and seven fingers, with the words "Daddy" above them. Sometimes I get one with a "I love you, Daddy" on it. Really, that's about all I need out of life.

My turn will come

I realize that these attachments are cyclical; my time will come. And I actually enjoy her absolute devotion to her mother. They go everywhere together. They paint their nails together. They do each other's hair. They cook and pick out clothes together. I try doing things with her, but I always end up feeling like the dog does when Lucy decides he needs to play dress-up. I'm working on it.

What's really fun is the child's lack of a filter and absolute obliviousness to other people's feelings. The other night when Mom got home from work, she ran into her arms, kissed her, pointed at me and said, "He's the evil. And you're the good."

Thanks, kid. Like I haven't heard that one before. Wait until Mommy leaves for work tomorrow morning and you need someone to get the cereal down from that high shelf.

A few nights before that, my wife, Michelle, had to go on yet another Girl Scout cookie run (thank God that's over). Michelle asked Lucy if she wanted to go with her or stay home. The child pointed at me like she was a prosecutor and I was on trial for murder, then loudly yelled, "I don't want to stay home with Daddy."

That's fine, kid. I wanted to lie around and watch basketball without having to get up every three minutes to see if you've set the house on fire yet.

An 'awful man'

That time with her mom is more special to her makes sense. My schedule allows me to spend more time with her in the mornings. I do the morning routine with her after my wife goes to work. I feel the same way when I see Mommy come in the door. I'd way rather hang out with her than with me.

Of course, I'd appreciate it if the kid could just stop threatening to call Child Protective Services when I make her wear socks with her shoes. And telling perfect strangers at the grocery store that this "awful man" is kidnapping her sometimes gets old.

This is something that might have bothered me a decade ago. But I think Michelle and I both have a very good relationship with Lucy. And I do really enjoy watching my wife be a great mom. I don't remember Lucy's 11-year-old sister doing this, but that might be because her mom and I were getting a divorce when she was 4. I'd much rather watch my daughter pick my wife as her favorite than watch a child go through that again.

As long as she keeps the stick-figure pictures coming, I'm perfectly fine being the runner-up.

Contact Tony Hicks at Facebook.com/BayAreaNewsGroup.TonyHicks or Twitter.com/insertfoot.