After I tuck the girls in for the night I always do a few pop-ins. I like to make sure they know I love them and that they are really listening since our routine can get rushed.
As I was walking by L’s room I saw a blank, sad stare. She was in her big ol’ bed looking tinier than usual and when I walked in to see her there were tears in her eyes.
Me: L, what’s wrong?
She just shook her head and tried to be tough like the tears were invisible.
I knew what was wrong; it was the babies.
This has been an on-going issue. We’ve struggled with some jealousy issues with her. She is never mean to them. She is always helpful and thoughtful but she is intensely jealous.
She says things like:
*why can’t Daddy take care of the babies and you take care of me
*hold me like a baby
*I know you can’t xyz because of the babies
She started having temper tantrums and being nasty like hitting which we have curbed with being more patient and preventative but it is a challenge. We have to be very aware and that can get exhausting.
We get her involved more and she has special jobs like picking out outfits, packing the diaper bag or making the bottles. They also have “good” charts in which they can earn smiley faces for being good all day, not misbehaving or just being kind. We took away all negatives and that has been really helpful as well.
I’ll also whisper things to the babies such as:
*I hope you grow up to be as sweet at L
*You so loving like L
I make sure to say these things when I know she is in earshot but doesn’t know I can see her. I feel her smile and skip off each time.
Tonight, though, her smallness and her innocence just got me in the heart. The big girls are only five yet we expect them to be so mature, understanding and responsible.
Why can’t she just have that temper tantrum or cry for no reason. Her world has been flipped upside down as well and she was once our center and now she is only part of our center.
I know this will pass but in the meantime I can’t help but feel bed sometimes for wanting more kids and being blessed with more.
She’ll understand in time that we aren’t replacing her or that she was enough for us. She’ll be thrilled when she has more playmates and sisters.
Until then I guess I better make sure these arms are strong enough to rock her and this heart is strong enough to know this too will pass.