Sometimes he gets the short end of the stick. It’s hard, trying to divvy up my attention equally between both kids. And that adorable sister of his seems to frequently win out – in photographs due possibly to the sheer novelty. I’ve been taking pictures of that adorable mug up there for four and a half years now. She’s only been in the picture both literally and figuratively for fourteen months.
When it comes time to answer his screams or hers… well her screams get answered with whatever it is she wants because she can’t really ask me in any other way yet. His screams get a response more like this : “Stop yelling! You’re not a baby!” And I know sometimes he probably thinks, “Don’t remind me.” I know that a lot of those outbursts are really, “Please acknowledge me! Let me be your baby a little while longer!” I want that too sometimes. It’s a push and pull kind of thing, wanting to experience tomorrow but wishing I’d savored more yesterday. Not enough time spent on today.
I try to put on my Happy Mommy Face more – to be enthusiastic with my delight when he shows good progress in potty training, to reward more of those good moments and not get upset over the few bad ones. I try to acknowledge when he asks me for something politely and with good manners. I try to tear myself away from daily chores or my RSS feed to lavish him with praises over his latest art project (his coloring and imagination really blow my mind sometimes).
It’s not always easy. I’m not always the Fun Happy Mom that I mean to be. Sometimes I’m tired, lazy, short tempered, unenthusiastic, angry… you get the idea. We all have those days. We all suffer the Mommy Guilt after five minutes of Less Than Stellar Mom Behavior, completely ignoring any of our moments of Mom Rockingness. We’re too hard on ourselves. Because it goes by so fast. One day they are newborn and you have their whole life ahead of you to savor the little moments, but those little moments go by so achingly fast sometimes.
Wasn’t this just yesterday?
So why then when I know this, do I belittle so much? Why don’t I embrace this life more and savor much much more? It’s so important to me that this kid realizes how much I love him, how special he is to me and how proud he makes me when he’s not exhibiting Typical Whiny Four Year Old Behavior. And even when he is. Because even as we get better at some things, there will always be new challenges, new lessons in behavior we’ll need to teach him and work on. New parenting challenges that we’ll need to work on ourselves. And we’ll wish we’d enjoyed some of this stuff now while it lasts. While he wants me to acknowledge his existence.
Point is. Sometimes I feel like I don’t shine enough positive attention on my firstborn. And maybe it will always be that way, but I thought I’d take this moment in bloggy time to just say that he’s awesome, that I’m proud, that he’s learning new things every day and growing up so quickly and making me laugh so much and I’m very very afraid that when I hit publish and turn around to check on him that he’ll be eighteen already because sometimes it really does seem to go by that fast.