Photo Credit: Refs.net
Nope. Didn’t win the lottery.
I’m going to call this the week of awareness. Suddenly, the boys have begun to negotiate the sharing of space and stuff. Ursa Major is under the impression that every toy in the apartment belongs to him. I’ve had to explain to him that all toys belong to Mama. “You own very few possessions in this world, young man.” I’ve said more than a few times.
And he looks at me like, “Whachu talkin’ bout, lady?”
So all week, most of what has come out of my mouth has been along the lines of “you need to share,” “he just wants to play with you!”, “don’t your brother!”, and my favorite, “does mommy need to take that?”
Ursa Major’s resounding answer to all of these statements and questions is a loud, strong, resounding NO!!!!!!!!!!
And when I haven’t been refereeing, I’ve been disciplining. We’re in timeout territory. I’m doing my best to make justice swift and consistent, and frankly, that is exhausting. There are some hard and fast rules:
- Don’t hit your brother.
- Don’t throw toys.
- Don’t hit Mommy.
- You get 2 asks and 1 warning.
Timeout lasts 2 minutes. It seems to work, for now. We have a designated corner, I say “have a seat” as sternly as possible, and I put on the timer. I’m trying to establish a system early so that way I don’t run into a brick wall later. I’m not trying to be Judge Dread Mama, but I just know that if I don’t dare now, we’re going to run into a lot of trouble down the road. Especially because he’s so freaking smart. Everything is going to turn into a negotiation and ain’t nobody got time for that.
Outside of refereeing, I’ve been struggling with how I’m raising Ursa Minor. Call it the 2nd baby blues.
My step-father said something to me that I didn’t really register at the time, but kind of exploded in my head a little later and really hurt my feelings.
I was opening boxes and helping unpack the kitchen, and just chatting about the boys. I told him that we’ll need some weekend babysitting in the near future as we look at houses/apartments for our move. He was all about it, as usual. But then he said something interesting;
“You know, [Ursa Major] is at an age where you can drop him off on any given Saturday. One baby is probably better than two, right?”
“Right.” I said, but even then I was uneasy.
Why offer to babysit just one? Why can’t you choose to hang out with both of the children? I know that Ursa Minor is younger and thus harder to entertain, and his temperament is not as mellow as Ursa Major’s, but why is he excluded? Maybe some new faces and a new setting is what he needs?
I feel like from conception till now, Ursa Minor has been left out. I’m not going to lie, when I found out I was pregnant again, I wasn’t terribly pleased. It’s not that I didn’t love him, it’s that I didn’t relish the thought of being pregnant again. I had morning sickness (read: all day sickness) with Ursa Major for 8 months of my pregnancy with him. I lost 20 pounds my first pregnancy. Who wants to do that again? 7 months after just doing it? That’s why I wasn’t excited. (and I lost another 15 pounds with Ursa Minor.)
I have already written about my mother-in-law’s ridiculous behavior regarding Ursa Minor’s arrival. My family was pretty pumped about it. While I was initially worried about his potential health (was my body ready to host another baby?) and his impact on Ursa Major (less attention = not good for development at such an important phase in life?), I was really excited about having two boys who would be thick as thieves. So while I’ll always feel a bit of mom-guilt about my initial reaction to seeing the double line a second time, I am fiercely protective about Ursa Minor, his development, and his inclusion.
And that’s what bothers me about my step-father’s comment. Why can’t Ursa Minor be included in whatever bonding you’ve got in mind? Why is it that, all of a sudden, Ursa Minor isn’t appealing? They are brothers, they should be together, and if you can’t handle the both of them together, you shouldn’t have them at all. It is totally useless to me to drive the hour to drop of one of them.
And this speaks again to this weird phenomena about “I want to babysit, but I don’t want to babysit”: It’s the worst kind of tease. It would be one thing if I was begging for babysitting constantly, they were doing it all the time, and it was a supreme pain in their ass. That’s not what’s happening. Their offering it and then retracting it and making me feel bad about it.
I can’t wait until the Spring. There will be color in my life, people will be happy, my skin will be kissed with some Vitamin D, and I won’t need babysitting because the world will be their playground.