My daughter is a few months shy of 5, and for reasons I can't really explain, the last few months she's been hardcore on mommy preference. Hubby and I are very equal parents - we work similar schedules so we tag-team daycare duty (he's the morning wakeup/dropoff person, I'm the evening pickup person), we're both home for dinner and on weekends so we're pretty equal in time spent with kiddo, and in fact, hubby is much better at being the fun parent than I am, so we get pretty equal time playing with our daughter, we tag-team sick days, etc. However, kiddo is still all mommy all the time, and hubby is having a really hard time with it, so I'm wondering how to help him cope. It tends to be particularly acute during transition times - ie, when she wakes up in the morning, she gets mad that it's not me (even though he's always the one to wake her up on weekdays); she wants me to read to her and put her to bed every night, even though we do it equally; she'll behave just fine during bathtime with me but throw fits if he's doing it, etc. A few times she's come out with "I want a different daddy" and things of that nature, and we talk very intentionally about how things like that hurt dad's feelings, etc, but she's still a 4 year old with the requisite emotional maturity. 90% of the time, after these transitions have passed, they have a great time together, but these flareups are really noticeable to him. It also doesn't help that physical touch/affection is his love language (and a very strong one at that) so he's feeling particularly rejected.
I've talked to my husband a bunch about not taking it personally and I think he gets it intellectually but he's clearly very affected by this and I'm not sure how to help. Would love any ideas!