Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Odd Man Out

Calvin and Hobbes were in the bath. Daddy Two Square was finishing up some work in his office. I was trying to wrestle the clean sheets onto the top bunk without falling off and breaking my neck. He was sitting in his high chair with only the dirty dinner dishes on the table as company. Rice and muffin pieces were scattered on his tray in hopes he would get some calories into himself. And he sat, the occasional squak coming out of his mouth to remind us all that he was there. If not for that, I suppose he could have been choking on that muffin. Eventually I did get him, after the beds were made, the boys were reprimanded, and the dishes were cleared and cleaned.

Poor Linus, this happens to you so often. You get put in the high chair or the crib or the pack 'n' play and just left there, the rest of us scurrying around you, in and out of the room, or not in the room at all, trying to get the basics taken care of so that we can function as a family. But is it functioning if you are alone in the dining room, contained but not included, acknowledged only when you finally get mad enough to demand it?

I need to know, those of you who have had or currently have three or more children at home, how did you do it? How did you manage life and pay enough attention to your children that they knew they were loved? I'm not talking having daily planned crafts and activities, reading oodles of books, and making sure each one got individual floor time with mommy. I'm talking about just acknowledging their existence long enough that they know you remember them.

It's not as bad as it sounds. Certainly Linus gets plenty of love and attention from his brothers, and from us, when we are take a moment to stop. But he does get left on his own a lot. Is that just part of being the third?


Allison said...

Honey, I only have two babes and sometimes this happens to our youngest. What's gonna happen when we have more?! Yikes!

I can't offer advice, but I just wanted to say that in the gazillion blogs in my reader yours is one of the first I go to if I see an update. You're an encouragement to me as a mom in your honesty and I see so much of my two boys in your Calvin and Hobbes. Just wanted you to know this little lurker is praying for ya. We've got friends who are missionaries overseas in "a large East Asian country" and it blesses my heart to know your family will be there as well, and so intentionally. Thanks for sharing.

I think I found you through Daniel years ago, and I'm glad I did.

TwoSquareMeals said...

Thanks for the kind comment, Allison.

I certainly didn't do much better with two babies, but the third is a completely new level of chaos! I am not the sort of mom who plans activities or spends all day doing mommy things, in case you haven't figure that out, but I do want to make sure my kids at least get some time with me each day. I am staying home for a reason :)

Thanks for your prayers. How do you know Daniel (if you don't mind my asking)?