Lately the two-year-old has been so convinced that he needs more of my attention that I’m almost starting to believe him (where his arguments lack in rationality, they more than compensate in volume and violence). Three months into his big brother gig, he vehemently adores BabyBoy, but is still prone to destructive sprees when the new guy nurses, despite my best efforts to do all those things “the books” recommend, like giving him a special toy or offering to read to him and cuddle with him while the baby eats (ha!).
Here’s the problem: there’s only so much pie, no matter how you slice it. BabyBoy needs big helping right now. And my job description, as near as I can figure it, includes not only entertaining/educating the babes, but also dealing with that stack of bills, that empty kitchen table and its sidekick, the full sink, that trail of laundry winding its way through the house…
Stating the obvious: It’s not good for children to grow up thinking that the sun rises and sets on their every whim. Neither is it good for children to grow up thinking that a clean house (or a sibling, or the computer, or whatever) is more important than they are.
And so the game goes. Every day, each child and each chore vies for a larger share of the pie, and I allocate it to the best of my judgment. But I hate those days where I feel like everyone goes to bed still hungry for attention they haven’t gotten, to say nothing of the house’s endless accusations of neglect.
On the darker days, I can console myself with the thought that at least I’m not paying to outsource the neglect of my children, since I’m so perfectly capable of accomplishing that myself :O