Monday, January 4, 2010

Jealous Much?

Oh, my sweet Hope. She has been such a good big sister. Such a trooper. So supportive of the changes in her life that come with not one but two little sisters at the same time. People ask if she's jealous, and I always reply, "no, she's a good big sister." And she is. When she really forgets about the whole big and little sister thing, and they all play together - there is nothing sweeter. However, I think she is not ready to give up her place in mommy's (or daddy's) heart.
I know there are families with lots of kids, and I have so much respect for the parents. I can't tell you how many times a day I find myself saying, "no I can't do that right now, I have to feed the babies" or change the babies or bathe the babies or fill in the blank. And I do try to take time to do activities with just Hope, but it's hard, and I feel a little stab of guilt every time I have to say no. I think mornings and evenings are when she feels it most; when we're getting up or going to bed, because there's the stairs. I wait for her to wake up so she doesn't have to wake up by herself, and inevitably she asks to be carried downstairs. I try to negotiate, can we walk together and count the stairs? No, carry me. Ug. How long do I still need to carry her downstairs? (Thank goodness she's only 28 lbs). Am I supposed to put my foot down and listen to the crying that will definitely follow if I refuse. I tell her I need to take the babies downstairs because I can't leave them upstairs by themselves, and then I come back upstairs to carry her down. I am such a sucker. Is it printed there on my forehead? I think this is a direct attention thing, the babies get carried downstairs, surely Hope must too. I know how to negotiate toys - these toys are meant for the babies, you have toys that are just yours, so these toys must be shared with the babies. But how do you negotiate your own energy? I think this is why Hope does not want to be a big girl. She does not want to go in the big girl potty. She does not want to sleep in her big girl bed. She wants to remain Mommy and Daddy's little girl. We've tried bribery in many forms to no avail. Even if the babies are sleeping in their bed, it doesn't matter, Hope still wants to be in Mommy and Daddy's bed. I read on Ask Moxie (yes, another blog) about two different types of babies in reference to crying. The first is the type that releases tension by crying. The second is a child that increases tension when crying. The first child is the kind that you put it to bed, it cries a little bit, but then once it releases that, the child can settle down and go to sleep. Unfortunately, I think all of my children are the latter. It seems that if I lay down a crying child, they increase their tension. So, I know that Hope is three years old, but even her, if she's sleepy and ready for bed, and I go to lay her in her big girl bed, she starts crying and that tension increases and she gets all worked up. Now, I know that if I were a hard-nosed parent, I would walk away and assume that she's going to just have to simper down eventually. But that is oh-so-very-hard. And I just don't think it's in me. So, yes, I know I'm left with the alternative and that is a toddler sharing my bed. It's not ideal, but we'll resolve it eventually. Maybe by the time she's a teenager. My own personal feeling is that, I don't like sleeping alone, is it so wrong that maybe she doesn't either? I think all of this just came together at once - focusing on Hope being a big girl, but trying not to replace Hope with the twins. That's parenting though, right?


Vicki said...

Ah, It seems the never ending ordeal... once you figure out this one out, there will be another complicated parenting issue to take its place.

I love that you go back and carry her down the stairs :)