Attention, please

I’ve created a monster. She’s bold, strong, confident and … wait, those are good characteristics for a female, right? Not when she’s 3, me thinks! I’m really seeing the “terrible 3’s” but, haha, I am coming out on top. Ok, today I did. I showed her who’s boss. Or maybe she just made me think I am for now. She’s crafty like that.

Now that I have two kids, and one of them is at a pivotal age of no longer a baby but not quite yet a child, it’s been important more than ever to A: Watch what I say and B: Have patience.

When I’m taking care of the needs of my son, I make sure I don’t blame him when my daughter needs my attention. I try to keep it simple and respond with, “I need to take care of something else first and then I’ll be right there to help you,” instead of “Sorry, I’m feeding your brother right now.” I’ve been applying all I’ve read about having her help me when it comes to baby brother and that’s worked out great. She likes to help me throw away diapers and help burp him etc. She’s even fed him a little for me or has given him his pacifier while I took care of something else. So far so good. Well, Ok, I fooled her for a moment. She has caught on.

She ignored me when I approached her and asked a question. I tried to pull her onto my lap and she squirmed away angrily, “Go take care of brother,” she huffed.

I could see she was feeling like maybe she didn’t matter and I realized that for that particular day, I hadn’t really paid much attention to her as I should have.

She’s a good girl and can play by herself and such, but I could see she missed her buddy, me.

Before my second child, she was my world. We played and sang, made sandwiches together, exercised. These days, it’s been a little harder. For one, my energy is zapped. Another, I’ve been feeling rushed to get in everything I need to do around the home and for my infant son, that I’ve made those chores, chores and not fun. I’ve been taking care of those things on my own and not allowing her to help sometimes.

Her grumpiness caught me by surprise and I felt a little guilty. I turned it around. I organized some mommy-daughter time. I painted her nails and we colored in a coloring book. I taught her a hand game and, well, gave her my time — some genuine time.

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    Christine Teldeschi

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