Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Oldest child guilt

My oldest child is 7, and as I've said before she's a great kid.  She plays well with her brother and sister most of the time, makes friends easily, is a great student and an inquisitive kid.  Now that she's getting older I really do enjoy spending time with her, unfortunately with two younger kids, it is rare that I get to spend time with just her.

I try to balance my time with the three of them, but it's tough especially since she is in school all day, her younger sister was in half day preschool 3 days a week this year, and her 2 year old brother is basically forced to tag along with me whatever I do. She gets jealous that her brother and sister are little buddies since they get to spend so much more time together.  She has asked me on more than one occasion if I can get her sister away so she can play with her brother.

She started playing piano this year and I have made a point of not bringing her siblings to her performances.  Partly I doubt they would sit still for all the performances given their age, but also it is an easy way to give her our undivided attention.  Although I have to admit at the last recital last week, I guess I hadn't planned enough time.  As we were leaving her teacher's house, she asked if we could go somewhere before we went home.  I asked her where and we ended up going to a playground for a little while before going home.  In hindsight I probably should have had the sitter stay longer and have taken her out for a early dinner, but given that the recital ended mid afternoon I hadn't even thought of it and it wouldn't really have made sense.

For the next couple of weeks I will be picking her sister up at camp about an hour and a half later than her, so am trying to figure out how best to use that time.  Hard to make it true quality time since it's right during lunch time and her little brother will be with us too, but it's worth a try.

I also feel bad cause some of the things that she wants to do, we can't always do because her siblings aren't old enough to behave appropriately or appreciate it.  Having said that I don't want to put her life on hold until they grow up, that's not fair to her.

Every since preschool she was asking me to come and read to her class.  I was finally able to do it this past December (after about 3 years of her asking).  And the sad part is by the time her brother is at that point in life it'll be really easy for me to do stuff like that for him, because the older ones will be in school.  I know she'll make me feel guilty about that.

Our middle daughter and son wake up pretty much the same time every day regardless of weekday/weekend.  On the weekends, they'll snuggle in our bed for a bit before breakfast.  Our oldest usually sleeps in and then if she misses snuggle time, she'll come down to the kitchen in a funk because she missed it.  I try to make up for it with more hugs throughout the day but because she tends to brood on anything that upsets her, it doesn't always work.  

Her Girl Scout troop had a pretend sleepover at the school that was supposed to be a mother daughter event a couple of months ago.  I already had a commitment I couldn't get out of so she wasn't able to go.

Now I just found out that my high school reunion is the same weekend as her first Brownie campout.  I can't do both obviously.  I'm hoping that since she has an Indian Princess campout the scheduled the following weekend we can justify that she probably shouldn't do both, as she is usually exhausted after the campouts.  Luckily she seems to be better friends with the Indian Princess girls than the Brownie group, so this justification may just work.  I would have liked to have done the campout as it would have been a good way to get to know those Moms. They are a nice bunch but with older kids don't always come for pickup/dropoff since their older kids are old enough to bring their first grade siblings to/from school.  Although I was told by one of the troop leaders that they are considering doing a museum sleepover later in the year which would be fun.  I'll just have to keep my other weekends clear.

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