Sharing the Spotlight (written July 12, 2010)

31 08 2011

The title might make you think that this post is about the challenge of juggling two kids and making sure that each gets the attention they need. When BA was only a month or two, I might have written that post, but as he’s grown, an unexpected development has occurred. I find myself on the outside looking in on a quickly blossoming relationship.  A relationship between my two boys.

During Drew’s entire infancy, I was the light of his world. He clung to me, and although it was at times exhausting, I secretly enjoyed the fact that when I went to get him from his crib, his arms would swing ecstatically and the most exuberant smile would break out all over his face. Drew was infatuated with me. Naturally, when BA was born, I expected the same. But the apple of BA’s eye is not me — it is his beloved big brother Drew.

From his first days, BA has intently watched his sibling.  As BA developed, the intent stares changed to laughs and chuckles and antics and an obsession with Drew that has put me firmly in second place.  Sure I provide BA with food and he’ll throw me a smile, a laugh, and sometimes even a squeal of joy, but if big brother is anywhere nearby, his attention is quickly redirected.  It’s gotten to the point where he will fuss and start to cry if he can hear Drew in another room, but he can’t see him.  BA won’t nap if Drew is anywhere around, and toys become useless accessories if big bro strolls by.  I guess I half expected that this might happen, but what has really surprised me is that Drew is just as enthusiastic about his baby brother.  Suddenly, Drew has a undivided audience, and he absolutely loves it.  “Mommy, how about Baby A watch me racing cars? Mommy, how about Baby A pway wiff me?  Mommy, how about Baby A watch me pway baseball?”  (Everything Drew says these days begins with ‘how about…’)

Yesterday, I watched the funniest scene unfold.  BA was in his walker in the living room, but Drew decided that he wanted to show BA his room (as if BA hadn’t ever been in there before).  Drew knows he is not supposed to push or move BA while he’s in the walker, so he stood in front of him calling him as if he were a puppy till BA scooted towards him.  If Drew noticed that BA wasn’t going in the ‘right’ direction, he would say, “OH, Baby A, are you stuck?  Let me help.” And he would reposition BA to head where he wanted him to go.  Finally, they reached Drew’s room, and I heard him say, “Look BA, this is my room.  Here’s my bed.  Here’s my toys.  Look over here at my train.”  The whole time, BA, in true second child form, went smilingly along with his elder brothers manipulation.  I was amazed.

The Insanity of the Moment

28 08 2010

I put in a Nicole Nordeman CD.  I needed peace.  It was the CD I used to listen to long ago when I was single and alone and enjoying a quiet, sunlit Saturday morning.  “Maybe if I turn it up loud enough, ” I thought, “I can find my  happy place.”  Then I started unloading the dishwasher.  Then I began planning out the evening .  Then I started calculating how long it was going to take me to catch up on school work.  Then I wondered if I could skip the grocery store this week.  Drew tore around the kitchen making spaceship sounds while flying his Yoda birthday card in death-defying loops.  The card creaked out the theme to Star Wars over and over and over again.  Baby A barreled through in the walker crashing into walls and cabinets and human beings.  I practiced evasive maneuvers trying to save my already scarred feet.  He screeched with glee and took aim at his brother howling his battle cry.  The two circled the kitchen amidst sounds of light sabers and squeals and scraping walker wheels and screams and clanging dishes and Nicole Nordeman belting out ‘peace’.  I stopped and looked and huffed — and then laughed out loud to myself.  And my peace came back amidst the insanity of the moment.