When we just had one child, all those many years ago, she got so much attention that I would classify her as spoiled. Maybe more like SPOILED. She had sleepovers with her grandparents, both sets, every other week starting at like 6 months, for a couple of years. She didn’t have to share anything at home with anyone, and she basically ruled the roost. For four years.
Even when Drew was born, despite Meg’s need for 100% attention, we were able to play man to man and both of our children got the attention they needed. When Drew was napping, Meg and I played or read or watched tv together. At night, Doug gave her her bath or sometimes read to her. I was able to take both kids out somewhere without too much trouble. I was living the high life.
My life is all about the zone defense now. With four very mobile children with NEEDS and WANTS and dirty diapers (ok, not all of them), I have to deal with the most pressing issues at the moment. The child with the runny nose is going to get more attention than the child who wants to chat with me. The child who has fallen down the stairs is going to take precedence over the child who is talking about loving trash. When all four of them are in crisis at the same time, which happens a LOT here, my initial instincts are to deal with the twins because they’re smaller, and in my mind, more fragile. I can tell you that this methodology has elicited comments from Meg to the tune of “no one pays attention to me here”. It’s heartbreaking.
I envy those parents who have help every day. I would love to give each of my children individual attention, every single day. However, that just doesn’t happen here. Annie and Izzie get royally screwed in the attention department. They nap at the same time, and during their nap I do chores and try to give Drew some attention. I try to read to Meg every single night. It is the only time of the day that we get together. Annie and Izzie share my attention. I try to talk with each of them a bit separately, but that doesn’t always work well, since they essentially do everything together.
I really don’t know where I was going with this post. I miss being able to focus on one thing, or one child, for more than a minute or two.