The Author

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I am a high school English teacher, and mother of two charming little ones of my own. I teach in a high poverty urban charter school, while I live in a typical American suburb that has frequently been rated one of the safest cities in the country. It is a paradox I struggle with constantly, but it is my life.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Perhaps he needs some individual attention?

When talking to my mom this week, she suggested that perhaps they should take the baby for a couple of hours Sunday so that Marc and I could do something with Vinny, just the three of us again. At first I kind of rolled my eyes and thought, "Not worth the effort. Not necessary."  I am solely breastfeeding and she eats a lot lately, so leaving her for a couple of hours requires some effort and careful planning. I am also having trouble getting enough milk to pump up a good store, so I am not really willing to give up the 4 ounces I have pumped just yet. I worked unbelievably hard for those 4 ounces. The occasion for which that bottle will be used is going to have to be a very important one.

But now... I am starting to think I possibly need to just feed her before we go and take my mom up on her offer to take Tiana for a couple of hours. Vinny has been very patient and really adores his baby sister, but he is clearly missing the undivided attention he previously took for granted. I never pictured him doing the "I want to be the baby" thing, but it is kind of happening. Today, when I was feeding Tiana, he said he wanted to drink milk too. I panicked for a minute, racked my memory bank for previously stored knowledge gained from parenting magazines/forums/etc., and considered that the best solution was probably to say he could. "You can if you want to," I told him, "but you probably wouldn't like it very much. Its for babies, so I bet it won't taste very good to a big boy like you." Fortunately for me, he just laughed and said, "That would be funny!" I guess he didn't really want to; he just wanted to know that he could. [Huge sigh of relief].

He also suddenly wanted to be carried tonight too. And even though he has no problem dressing himself normally, when I asked him to put on his pajamas while I was feeding Tiana tonight, he suddenly couldn't do it himself. I tried to "help" him with one hand, thinking he just needed a little attention, I quickly realized he was not going to be assisting at all. As soon as I asked him to stick his head through a hole, he basically flung the shirt off and said, "No, I can't do it." Ugh... I had to threaten to take away his bedtime story if he didn't put on his pajamas right away. I hate making threats like that, and I hate having to refuse to help him. I thought I would always be able to indulge his needs for attention, but realistically, there are things about taking care of a newborn that make meeting his constant demands impossible. I guess I never realized quite how spoiled Vinny was before. No, that's not true. I knew it; I just didn't care.

See... this is why, when people would ask me when I was having another one, I resented the fact that it was always just assumed that I would or should. My thought was, "What's so bad about just having one?" and I really did fear that having two would mean sharing my attention. Sure there is enough love to go around, but truly, it does mean sharing my time and energy, and it hurts me very much so to see my first baby missing Mommy's undivided attention.

So...  what to do for no more than two hours? We could see a short movie. There's that owl one at the regular theater, or "Cats and Dogs" at the cheap theater, and both are only an hour and a half. Or we could just go to the park or maybe take him to Build a Bear at the mall or something like that? I don't really want to spend too much money; I just want to do something with him for a while where he will get mom and dad's attention the whole time. Ideas?

1 comment:

  1. i think you should take him to do something you have never done with him before. Make a new special big boy memory!