The attention grab
Having two kids means figuring out a way to spend […]
Having two kids means figuring out a way to spend time with each of them so that neither feels slighted or left out. Adding another one to the mix—one that will simply eat/poop/sleep/cry for roughly five or so months—is only going to make this exponentially more difficult. So how the heck are we (fortunately L will likely have four months maternity leave+sick days+vacation days) supposed to make equal time for each boy besides a collaborative group hangout?
Divide and conquer.
Saturday mornings are the perfect example. I’ll take G with me for our weekly (OK, tri-weekly) trip to the grocery store, so that L can straighten up the house, start laundry, etc. while N “helps.” I take my time when I’m out because G is generally pretty chill and entertained by all the goings-on around us. And if he starts to get a little cranky, I may just grab a little box of Goldfish from the shelf to have him snack on. (Yes, I pay for them when we check out.)
Most weeknights I head to my second job after preparing (and eating) dinner, so L is on the penalty kill for the last few hours before bedtime. Both boys enjoy reading, so that’s always in play. G’s new thing is taking our hand and leading us around the house—even though I’m not quite sure what he’s trying to show us half the time. And they do like to play together even though N sometimes thinks playing together means tackling G.
Then there’s bath time. Bath time is like the opening credits to the main attraction for any tired parent: BED! Fortunately, both boys are pretty good when it comes to bedtime routines, as N can entertain himself for the 15 or so minutes L is in G’s room coaxing him to sleep. He’s got office supplies up the wazoo, so he can draw and color or write notes on Post-Its and adhere them to every wall in the house. He’s got a good grasp of how to work the Roku player, so he might pop on Charlie Brown or his new favorite, Inspector Gadget, both of which beats this Pororo trash he sometimes watches. And he’s got an expansive imagination, so he’ll pretend he’s teaching his school friends new games and lessons. It’s both amazing and hilarious to listen to from the other room.
With D3 coming in April, it’ll be a bit trickier dividing our attention between the three, but we’ll make it happen, as fairly as possible. We’ve been grooming N to be the helpful biggest brother while G is sure to be great with the new guy despite us not being able to get any answers (or words) from him.
N was a bit jealous of G when he first arrived because of the attention a new baby needs, but he has softened has progressively gotten less and less needy, I guess you’d say.
Anyway, attention will be paid in equal quantities (even though N sometimes gets special treatment like basketball games, baseball games and bowling because he can actually enjoy and participate in such things) for at least another year or so, by then we’ll have a third-row car to get around with everyone.