Wednesday, April 15, 2009

How long will it last?

Itsumade tsuduku?

So it's been 2 1/2 weeks since the arrival of the new Pumpkin Prince. He's a pretty good sleeper for his age group averaging only 2 feedings/ diaper changes a night and not very fussy. Yet. I remember the Pumpkin Princess was like that just up until I went back to work, so...

The problem is not with the Pumpkin Prince but the Princess. She is very jealous, kind of like the wife whose husband has brought home a younger mistress. She will ask to sit on my lap while I am trying to nurse, demand food when I am changing a newborn size diaper, start screaming and yelling because I will not put a crying newborn down to play Legos with her... I could go on, but I am sure you get the idea.

An informal survey conducted by the Pumpkin Daddy at the workplace shows that par for the length of such sibling rivalry behavior is six months. An informal survey conducted by the Pumpkin Mommy and Daddy shows that neither were very jealous of their younger siblings (the Pumpkin Mommy was Mommy's little helper, bringing diapers and towels for diaper changes and such, and the Pumpkin Daddy was not very interested in his younger brother at all, in a positive or negative way).

I'm not quite sure how I am going to handle six months of this. Any suggestions as to cut down the length and/ or intensity would be immensely appreciated (other than, of course, space out kids to like five years apart, because it's kind of late for that, don't you think?)


Kalamity K said...

Sorry, can't be of any help there. One of the advantages of twins ...

Livy said...

This is exactly why I opt for having one baby only, in this lifetime (^_^)v

I have good and bad news for you.
Let's come up with the good news first.
You're so lucky that the second baby is a baby boy. Cos if it's a girl, you'll have the rivalry last for at least 3 decades (if you're lucky).
In my Mom's case of 5 siblings, it's just a never ending 6 decades now (and still counting), since the youngest in her family just keep on getting envy and irritated in about... well... EVERYTHING.

Another good news is none of your kids is autistic, retarded, or physically challenged.
So special attentions aren't needed.
And if you knew about the famous couple (Jon and Kate) who have 8 kids in 3 years (twins and sextuplet), you'll feel so much much better by now (^_^)v

The bad news is you can't cut down the length/intensity of the problem you're dealing with right now.
As they're growing up, soon, one of them just love to compare in almost every single little thing you do for the other one.
One of them will always think you love the other one much more.
And even though the kids are different in gender, clothes, bags, toys, colors (red for girl, blue for boy), and so on, the envy will always be there.
The feeling of being not-so-loved by Mom and Dad could be kept secretly at the bottom of the heart for a lifetime, so you just have to be really careful there.
Sometimes, when you're out of luck, no matter how equal you think you already are in treating them, they have their own minds about it.
Kids nowadays are a whole new generation to deal with.
Do your homework well.

It's a full time job being a good parent, and it last forever.
Nobody's ready for that (and there's no manual about it), but as the time passed, we all just gonna get used to it. Well, eventually.
Just learning by doing.
One day at a time.
Remember, you're just a human being. There's no such thing as a Super Mom.

sheri said...

We were lucky that the J-Boy wasn't too jealous of the Little Missy. I think part of it was that he is 3 years and 8 months older, and part of it was that he's always been a pretty even-tempered, mellow kind of kid.

We did spend a lot of "prep" time with him before she was born, though, explaining how she was going to need a lot of attention, that he didn't have to share us with anyone until she was born but that she would have to share us with him for her whole life, etc. We also let him be the big helper, standing on a stool to help bathe her, giving her small bottles in between breast feedings, holding her, etc.

I really can't say how much of his lack of jealousy was just him and how much was what we did and said. Maybe we were just lucky...

angelena99 said...

Hmm, I am the oldest of four, all around 2 years apart. My kids were 4 years apart. So I've got a little of both close and spread apart perspectives.

Other than the part where we say "This sort of behavior is very normal" on the part of the Pumpkin Princess, I think making sure that you *do* have some time for just her is important. Obviously, not on her schedule, but the "today when Pumpkin Daddy gets home, Mommy and Princess will play legos for a little while" or whenever you can squeeze it in with help from grandparents, etc.

Also, pointing out the 'cool' things she gets to do because she is a big kid, like going to school, having cool toys, helping - whatever seems to be attractive to her, milk it!

Making sure you've got a bit of time for her, coupled with calm reminders that she needs to wait because babies need a lot of help. One of the best things about having a second one was that my first one HAD to learn how to wait. There just wasn't any other option. It made me realize how quickly we'd always responded to him, just because he was an only kid.