If one had to assign "good cop" and "bad cop" to my husband and I as parents, I would undoubtably be dubbed "bad cop." I try to be fairly strict with the discipline especially because so many people in Zoës life spoil her rotten. I am actually in favor of her being spoiled rotten in some ways, but I still would prefer her not to behave like a whiny brat. I doubt I am the strictest mother that ever came down the pike, but if I tell my daughter that something she is doing is making me angry it does instill fear in her. She knows I mean it when I say I will take that toy away or no dessert, etc. My husband, on the other hand, is a complete softy. He gets mad, but he gives her a hundred chances. Probably his biggest threat to her would be, "I'm going to tell Mommy about this." Zoë has him wrapped tightly around her little finger and he is so happy to be there that I really wouldn't want it any other way.
The part that confuses me about all of this is that despite the fact that I am the strict one, Zoë still wants it to be me to put her to bed, give her a bath, make her lunch for school, pick her up, drop her off, etc. All things where she could get away with so much more with her Daddy in charge. Bedtime is the best example. It is an absolute treat to Zoë if I am the one putting her to bed. I read exactly one story, put her into her bed, sit in her room for a couple of minutes, kiss her one last time and then leave the room. If I have to go back in for any reason I am outwardly annoyed with her. When my husband puts her to bed he will read a story and then some poetry and then they'll look at an astronomy book and then once she's in bed he'll tell her a story and then sit in her room until she falls asleep. Actually, he usually falls asleep first. If she wants water, he will bring it. If she calls out to go potty again, he takes her. So, why on earth would she prefer me to put her to bed??? Must be the same reason why I am the only one who can get her her milk in the mornings -- her "milky bop." ("Bop" was her word for bottle when she was just learning to talk and as soon as she was able to put two words together out came "milky bop." That one has stuck and I think probably will stick until she no longer wants a "milky bop.")