Before Christopher was born, I assumed that Ashlyn would get much less attention from me. I knew that she was just going to have to wait for me to take care of Christopher before I could meet her demands. In part because Christopher is so easy-going, he is the one who gets less. I've put him on the floor in the middle of nursing to rush Ashlyn to the potty. I generally put him in the bouncy seat while I take care of Ashlyn's lunch, dinner, toy, crying, etc.
Last week as we were leaving the commissary, Christopher started getting upset. Because I couldn't feed him immediately, he was screaming from his car seat which I'd put on the grass next to the car. As the bagger put my groceries in the back, I rushed Ashlyn to "hurry, hurry," because Christopher really needed me. Plus, I felt bad that he was just on the ground, screaming. After tipping the bagger, I grabbed Christopher out of his car seat and got into the front seat to feed him. Ashlyn started crying from the backseat that she wanted a "princess snack." I told her that she couldn't have one until this afternoon. She started screaming about the princess snack. As I'm stuck in the front seat feeding Christopher, I started yelling at her because she wasn't going to get the princess snack and we would go home after Christopher was finished and why couldn't she understand that she needed to HUSH!
As I told Allen about my frustration with Ashlyn at the commissary, I found myself saying that Christopher couldn't help screaming, he was only 3 months old, but Ashlyn was nearly 3 years old. Then it hit me, Ashlyn is ONLY nearly 3 years old. I felt terrible about expecting her to be so grown up and understanding. She was hungry too, and had seen me put TWO packages of princess snacks in the cart.
My frustration with Ashlyn didn't end with our shopping trip, though. As I wrote earlier, Ashlyn stopped napping. When one child doesn't nap, I just have a very full day. As I was trying to fold clothes on yet another no nap day Saturday, Ashlyn climbed into my lap. It isn't easy to fold clothes while a child is in your lap. As I found myself thinking "why does she ALWAYS have to sit in my lap?" I remembered again that she wasn't even 3. In just a few short years (or less) she isn't going to want to sit in my lap every time I sit down.
I try to remember to hold onto all these little moments when Ashlyn wants me to come outside and look at the moon. Or when it takes FOREVER to walk down the street because Ashlyn must pick several dandelions, daisies, and berries.
At the same time, Christopher needs some attention, too. He doesn't DO a whole lot right now, so it is easy for Ashlyn to demand more attention. I also need to clean the house, fix meals, and do a few things for myself.
Just trying to find that right balance.