Friday, July 16, 2010

You have my full attention, wait hang on...

When we found out that we were going to be having twins, I knew in my heart of hearts that we were having a boy and a girl.  On the first ultrasound Luke was quite forthcoming and we knew right away that he was a boy.  Emma however was not.  I had so many ultrasounds while I was pregnant with them, but every time regardless of the poking and prodding, walking around, turning over - she would not cooperate.  Not until the very end of my pregnancy when I was hospitalized for preeclampsia and they did a biophysical ultrasound and she FINALLY cooperated...for a second.  Literally seconds - just long enough for the ultrasound tech to "think" she was a girl.  With the baby being this stubborn, there was no way she wasn't a girl.

Luke never scared me.  I mean, I've been scared for him but I've never been scared of him.  When I was pregnant with Emma, I jokingly said that she scared me - I knew, instinctively, that this precious little miracle was going to be a handful.  And she is nothing short of that - a great big, loving, smart, beautiful handful.

So lately Emma and I have been going at it.  We go through our phases where we butt heads constantly and this my friends, is one of those times. 

To be honest, I have a ginormous parenting FAIL.  Having twins first, I have never known being able to just love on one kid.  I have never experienced having one child that gets all my energy, attention and affection.  Ever since the twins were born I have struggled with feeling like I was always jipping a kid somehow.  So, add two more kids to the equation, I totally struggle in this area!  And my Emma, my sweet sweet Emma is the quietest one of the bunch - the one I feel like I jip the most.

There is Luke who is loud, demanding and focused.  He has NEVER given me the option to not pay attention to him.  I constantly have to remind him that he has three siblings...he can't always have all of my attention.  He feels otherwise.

There is Lily who is the loudest human being on earth.  She fights for my lap and demands My entire and complete attention - even hitting her brothers and sister if they try to compete with her for my time.

There is Will who is the baby.  First off he is the baby so of course he gets a ton of my attention because I'm trying to grasp on to his baby-ness as long as possible.  Secondly, he was so sick when he was born that I just feel like I need to focus on him all the time.  I am getting way better at the second thing - but the first thing...ya, that's going to take awhile.

So then there is Emma.  When Lily was born Luke was right in her face claiming her as his.  But Emma sat on our hearth sucking her thumb being totally silent.  When one of our kids is sick the others are oblivious and still demand my full attention.  But not Emma.  She becomes very introspective and quiet.  And because she doesn't demand it, I often fail at giving her my undivided attention. 

I suck.

So lately, she has become a demanding, loud, emotional, scary little monster who is beyond reasoning.  She has been acting HORRIBLE.  And I, mother of the year, respond WAY more negatively towards her bad behavior than any of the others because it's so abnormal for her - which then just makes her act worse.  Lovely little vicious cycle we have going on in the Sharon home.

So what do I do?  I don't want to reward her bad behavior with special fun time with Mommy, but I think that's the only remedy.  But if I do take her and go do something special, won't I be reinforcing to her that all she has to do to get my undivided attention is act like she is being possessed by the Devil himself?  I don't know - where is Super Nanny when I need her?

Anyhow, I know my Emmy girl is feeling a giant ball of emotions too - because my usually very well spoken child who can verbalize her emotions has been frustrated lately because she doesn't know the words to describe how she is feeling.

I want to love her and parent her the best way possible, I just wish I knew what way that was.



I remember your aunt saying that she was afraid Emma would explode some day because of the way she would isolate herself and patiently wait her turn to get attention that Luke demanded immediately. Well, now she's probably tired of waiting her turn! Bless her heart. I see how you are pulled in four different directions at the same time, and I also see how you give each child individual loving attention. Melissa, you are doing a great job, and you are a wonderful, loving Mom to all your kids!

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