Or, when your oldest child is in Richmond for an overnight, and you only have one child in the house. That’s another title. And probably more on-target with what I’ll write about.
(I just spent 15 minutes on Awkward Family Photos before I made myself choose one. I can’t stop looking sometimes).
A couple of months ago our Chicken was in Richmond for some quality time with her cousins, so we just had the Monkey with us at home. Our little family went to Sam’s Club to buy spinach and baby wipes (just guessing, but that’s pretty much standard whenever we shop there) and noticed that…gosh…the little Monkey was just cracking us up. He was so animated and sweet and engaging. He followed directions so well and was eager to have fun with us. The hubs and I looked at each other at some point: “Is he always like this, and we just don’t notice?”.
That’s a great feeling, let me tell you. Wondering how much of your child’s personality you are oblivious to, 99% of the time.
You might think we really learned from that weekend. You might imagine that we concentrated our efforts on making sure to spend quality time with the little guy. You might think we were more mindful of him, and not just his older (more verbal and generally demanding) sister.
Well boy would you be wrong!
Once again, Chicken is away on an overnight in Richmond and tonight we had the exact same exchange. About how fun the Monkey is. How charming. How enjoyable. How overlooked.
Sigh. Of defeat.
Is this just the lot in life of the middle child? I’m the youngest of four. The hubs is the youngest of two. Neither of us knows the plight of that middle child. That poor, ignored, overlooked middle child.
Here’s something that I think is worth saying: I think it is good practice to ignore your kids. I started when my kids were babies and continue to practice it to this day. Fussing a little in that bouncy seat while I finish making dinner? Ignore. Whining in the crib while I shower? Ignore. There’s no way I can sustain some frantic pace of dropping everything to hold my child whenever they fuss or cry or even ask politely for my attention. I can’t do it; they need to learn in little spurts that I cannot be righttherebytheirside whenever they need me. So I’m all for a little healthy oblivion to my children from time to time.
But I don’t want to miss him altogether. It feels like a fine line that I am on the wrong side of sometimes.
Here’s my last thought, which is not at all related to the rest of this post: I never wanted this old college try of mine to be a “mommy blog”. Not because I don’t enjoy the occasional mommy blog, but just because that seems like a small view of my life. I started this blog because of my goal to try one new thing a month for all of 2011. But- a year later- I write mostly about mom stuff. I guess that’s a reflection of where I spend most of my time and energy. These darn energy-sucking children.
So- my apologies for those who originally tuned in for things like shredding with Jillian Michaels or going facebook-free. Maybe I’ll try another goal or two in the coming months to shake things up a bit. In the meantime- more about babies! And diapers! And being pregnant!