I was at the mall recently with the boys enjoying a nice Chick-fil-a lunch, when suddenly, a woman walked up to our table, leaned over next to Mooses’s stroller, picked up the Chick-fil-a cow toy Moose had dropped and handed it back to him with a smile.
She looked at me with a grin and said, “He has been trying to get your attention for several minutes now.” Without thinking, I responded, “If I’m being honest, he’s been trying to get my attention for the last two years… you see, he’s my youngest.”
It doesn’t matter whether you are the first born, last born or a middle child… you will always think you have it the worst. I, however, as the last born, now have proof that I did have it worse than my older sister. That proof consists of my own parenting and the stories I hear from other mothers with more than one child.
Don’t get me wrong, I love both of my kids more than words can say, and I never forget to tell either of them that. However, I am far more likely to forget Moose than I ever was to forget Ike. I have never left Moose in the car or forgotten him at the store. However, I often forget he is sitting in his booster seat, or hiding in the tunnel, or napping upstairs… that is, until he reminds me.
I am chauffering Ike from one activity to another all week. Moose on the other hand gets one planned mommy/son outing each week (swim lessons), and the rest of his time is spent at home, in the car seat, or sitting in his stroller waiting for Ike to finish some activity or appointment.
I even host a preschool co-op at my house once a week for Ike and his buddies. But, because I don’t want Moose to do his best Godzilla impression during craft time, Moose often spends most or all of the morning upstairs “working” with daddy. The one day he spent the morning with our preschool group, he had a great time. But, when we did the craft, I strapped him in his booster seat to watch. About 40 minutes later… long after the craft was cleaned up, one of the other moms asked, “Um, is it OK if I get Moose out of his seat.” I had honestly forgotten he was sitting there.
Luckily despite all of that, Moose is a really happy little boy. He has the brightest blue eyes and most adorable smile. He wants to dive right into life… unlike Ike who prefers to dip just one toe in at first.
Is that just a difference in personality between my boys, or is it proof that good parenting often involves a more hands-off approach? Who knows? Either way, I know that I love both of my boys (well, all three if you count hubby) so much that even if my memory is a bit flaky, my heart could never forget any of them – not even for a nanosecond.
For those of you who can remember all of your kids, how do you manage it? Share in the comments section!