Come along for the ride!!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Clever, clever, clever ...

We oh-so very nearly missed it altogether. A small but not insignificant achievement by Annabel which warrants a cheer.

After all, I made a big enough fuss of Joseph when he managed the same thing over 2 and a half years ago.

“I did it!!” she cried, trying to get someone’s attention.

“I did it Dad”, she cried again, waiting for a response from me, someone, anyone. “I did my button!!”

Her tiny, beautiful face was lit up, clearly delighted she had managed to do up her first button.

I ran around the kitchen counter and over to where she was sat, hugging her and telling her how clever she was, obviously making her even more delighted.

And there lies the problem.

Technically I was “there” to share the experience with her. But I didn’t actually see her do it; I wasn’t sat in front of her, watching her little fingers struggling with the smallest buttons I’ve ever seen and managing to get one of them through a barely larger slot on her cardigan.

As you can read
here, when Joseph did the same thing, I was sat in front of him, could see how he managed the process from start to finish. With Annabel, I just caught the tail end of it.

It wasn’t like we were alone; M and Joseph were sat at the same table but were doing homework together, engrossed in reading a book, but I can remember she had to shout out twice before I looked up. To be honest, she will often shout out in a bid to get some attention away from Joseph, so initial calls are sometimes ignored. As it happens, I was in the kitchen filling a saucepan with some boiling water so couldn’t really look up straight away, but this is far from being the first time this kind of situation has arisen.

I’ve alluded to this before but before Annabel came along, M and I did absolutely everything together, from changing Joseph’s nappies, to bathing him, dressing him, feeding him - ok, M did 99% of the feeding (hey, nature planned it that way, don’t blame me!) - but even then, I was on hand to wind him when finished, to get this, get that, offer support and so on.

The 3 of us moved around the house as a single unit, from bedroom to bathroom, from living room to kitchen, from hallway to the front door.

And then, overnight, this changes.

Overnight, a new human arrives in your household and you immediately want to keep your happy-in-his-familiar-surroundings toddler apart from your new born, screaming-and-constantly-hungry baby, if only from a restful nights sleep point of view. Therefore, by default, one of you goes one way with child number one and the other with baby, usually (as was the case with us) Dad with toddler and Mum takes baby.

(On that note, I genuinely do not know how single parents manage but that’s a topic I know nothing about so will refrain from commenting).

So with child number one, you both experience the first time they did this, or the first time they did that but with child number two, you don’t. You can’t, simple as that.

Like I said, M was at the table when Missy undid her first button but her focus was on making sure Joseph was doing his reading correctly. Try as you might, you can’t keep swapping your attention from one to the other (no, you can’t), because the eldest gets to the age where he needs your attention rather than merely wanting your attention. He’s reading his homework book after all; it’s only fair that he has your attention. Things are busier too; you have more than one child to cook for, clean up after and so on.

Your children’s perception of things must be different too though. I mean, one of them had your undivided attention and the other often has to fight for it.

It’s quite sad really.

To think I always wanted to have three children!! I must’ve been mad!!

Congratulations Missy; your first button.

Well done you!


Post a Comment

<< Home