Wednesday, August 22, 2007

One lap, shared.

My 4yo stole a rare moment on my empty lap this evening. He has gotten so tall and lanky he barely resembles the chubby baby that used to ride around in a sling all day long. Now his little brother is the one most often on my hip, but he never seems to resent it. Grouper is more likely to smother Baby Fish with too tight a hug than do anything that expresses jealousy.

No, tonight it was the baby's turn to be jealous.

It took me a minute to realize what he was upset about. UberDad recognized it first. "He doesn't want Grouper sitting on your lap!" my husband laughed, watching the baby scoot over to the sofa from his playmat, dismay in his voice and on his face.

I smiled at him as he came closer, but hugged my middle son tighter, not ready to give up our cuddle. "Your brother is my baby, too!" I said. "But you can come up and join us!"

I pulled him up on the couch, and set him on his brother's lap. We were nestled one on top of another like his stackable wooden boxes, though I wasn't sure that it would be enough. It was -- he was happy to be a part of the cuddle for a moment. Then he slid off to crawl along the sofa and giddily bounce against the cushions.

How lucky am I? He could just as easily have reached out to grab Grouper's face like he does the cat's tail, in an attempt to wrestle his place back. But he didn't.

At some point every mother worries about jealousy between her children. "If I have another baby, will my first child forgive me?" "How will I give them both enough attention and love?" And sometimes we do exactly what we hope we wouldn't -- we choose one over the other, expecting the older children to understand when we put the baby's needs first -- all day long. Or putting the baby off too long because the older child needed our attention. And sometimes it's just a matter of not having enough hands to do everything we're needed for at once.

Maybe it's luck. An undeserved blessing. Maybe I'm figuring some things out and not making those mistakes as often. In any case, I am grateful for having sons who know the value of a brother, and truly love each other.


Jorja said...

It is impossible to please everyone at once! When my sister went home after coming to help after our youngest was born she told me that she's always surprised how it takes both her and her husband to do my job. I laughed and told her that the difference is that when it is just me, people have to cry a while before I get to them.

ps thanks for commenting on my blog!!

Amanda said...

Hi Jorja! Thanks for coming by. Caring for more than one child is always a juggling act, isn't it!

Jen said...

Juggling is right! With a 2 year old and a 7 mo old, I often say, "It's a juggling act, but luckily I've not dropped anybody .... yet!"

I love the story of the baby getting jealous. Very touching.

bliss said...

i think your blessings are all deserved Amanda. you're a good mommy and your little fish are blessed to have you. :-)

growing up as an only child, i often wondered what it would be like to have siblings, especially a sister. i met one of my sisters when i was in my late 20s. (different moms, same dad) i wish our moms had been friends and we'd played together as children...

sometimes i feel guilty that baby bliss is my only child. but only for a little while. she's high maintenance and wears me out. you have my never-ending respect, mommy of three. :0)

Amanda said...

Jen, that's too cute! Thank you so much for your comment, I'm glad you found me!

Bliss, thank you for your sweet words. I'm sure your daughter is getting everything she needs from her devoted Mommy! If it's meant to be, you'll have another baby when the time is right. :)

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