Random Thoughts: More Sibling Issues

Flora gets to do stuff that Kate doesn’t get to do.

Flora got a DSi for Christmas when she was 6. Flora got her first sleepover (for her birthday) when she turned 7. Flora and I sometimes have events to attend at her school, while I have to leave the younger sibs at home with a babysitter. Flora bowls every other Sunday. Dan usually takes her.

This is difficult for Kate, watching her sister go off and do stuff she can’t do yet.

Kate does not like to be alone. Ever. At all. She won’t go upstairs by herself. Or stay in the kitchen by herself (and Michael in his high chair doesn’t count some days). There are times she won’t even go pee by herself. (This is the habit of hers I am trying hardest to break.) And forget going to bed by herself. Not happening.

Flora’s already asking when she gets to have a room to herself (again).

Saturday night, Flora got invited to sleep over at a friend’s house. In a couple of weeks, she has a Father-Daughter dance that she is going to attend at her school.

Part of me wants to do special things with Kate in direct reaction to these special events. Flora goes on a sleepover; Kate and I go get pedicures. Dan and Flora have a special event; Kate and I go see a movie. Just her and me.

But another part of me wonders if this is a good strategy. After all, Flora is going to get to do stuff that Kate won’t get to do for a number of years yet.

I honestly don’t know what to do, if anything.

Also, I may have already told Kate that we were going to get pedicures on Sunday.

Should Kate get special things because her sister gets special things? Should she just get special things — or special time — because each kid needs special time? Or does she have to just suck it up until it is her turn?

Random Thoughts: The Siblings Edition

Monday evening, I had to take Michael to the doctor. He’s got *another* ear infection. I made arrangements for my ILs to pick up Kate, but I decided Flora would be fine to come with us to the pediatrician.

That was a mistake. She couldn’t — or wouldn’t — sit still or be quiet. I had to repeatedly ask her to stop interrupting the doctor and me. It was frustrating all the way around. After my tenth “Flora, please sit over there”, she went into a funk.

“You care about Michael most,” she pouted.

I gave her a “mom look”, and she subsided. Once we were back in the car, I addressed the issue.

“Flora, you know that I don’t care most about Michael. I care about and love all of you the same amount.”

“I know.”

“But right now, Michael is sick, so I have to focus on him more. Okay?”

“Okay. Can I play Angry Birds on your phone?”

++

Then this happened:

We went to Target to pick up the prescription for Michael.

Flora was pushing the cart, with me guiding her. As we paused to look at something, a woman walked up to the cart, and cooed over Michael.

Flora, starting straight ahead, said, “I knew this would happen.”
“What?” I asked, although I thought I knew.
“This.” Flora pointed between the woman and Michael. The woman was looking on in amusement.
“Someone admiring your adorable little brother?” I asked.
“Yep.”
The woman spoke up. “You have beautiful blue eyes,” she said to Flora.
“Say thank you, Flora.”
“Thank you.”

We bid the woman a nice evening, and headed home.

++

I suppose having siblings is hard. The amount of bickering in my house drives me batty. I don’t remember that level of antagonism with my sibs (Dr. Bro and Dr. Sis) growing up. But, hey, maybe I repressed the memories.

Kate knows exactly how to bother Flora and sets about pushing her buttons. Flora cannot ignore the bait, and whines at Kate to stop — whatever it is. This, obviously (to the adult me), encourages Kate to continue her behavior.

Kate continues her acting out ways, especially when either Flora or Michael get the bulk of my attention. Hey, even negative attention (especially the one I am most prone to, yelling) is attention!

And Michael. He just kind of hangs out and takes it in. I have no idea if I am neglecting him, babying him, harming him by making him wait a little bit? No clue. Out of all my babies, I think he’s the one who has cried the most to date, because sometimes when he’s crying (hungry or, more likely, tired) I’m still in the midst of something with one of the other ones. Poor baby boy.

It’s a damn good thing they’re cute.


A Boy and His Sisters