Can I Have Your Attention Please?

   Mom…mom…mom…mommy…momeee!!!! How many times have you heard that today? Fifty, maybe one-hundred times? In case you didn’t know it’s the sound of your child wanting your attention. I’ve always known kids need and want attention, but I’ve never realized how much until I had my second child. One cries, then the other. Sometimes if I’m lucky, they’ll both do it at the same time. That’s what I call the symphony. Let me tell you, it’s no Mozart or Beethoven!
   Let’s start off with the baby. She cries out for attention, literally, when she needs to be fed, changed, or has some other kind of problem. The good thing is her needs can usually be met rather quickly. I can say pretty confidently that when she needs attention, she gets it, is satisfied and moves on. Once she’s full and fed she can just chill for awhile.The same can not be said for my two-year-old. She needs a little more TLC. Before the baby came along, she kind of did her own thing. But now, things are a little more complicated and just plain old exhausting. Instead of crying out to get her needs met, she can actually tell me what she needs for the most part. If she’s hungry, she says, “Mom, I want yums.” If she needs to go to the bathroom or get changed she says, ” Mommy, pee pee.” Those needs are easy to meet. It’s when she starts whining “Mommy” and grabbing my leg like a dog in heat that things get dicey. Ever since the baby came along, she wants to be held more, played with more, and just simply be around me more. Sometimes that’s not so easy. I know it’s normal, but sometimes it drives me totally nuts!! I know that comment won’t win me mom of the year, but it’s the truth and I know a lot of other moms who can relate. Of course I want to hold her, play with her, and talk to her as much as I can, but now there is another little person who also needs me. Sometimes I wish I could just clone myself (and if I could I would also clone a version of myself who only had to worry about house chores…but that’s a subject for another blog). Sometimes I feel like there really needs to be two of me to deal with both kids and all that goes along with it. But, I don’t think my husband could deal with another me!
   As much as I try to split my attention evenly, it seems inevitable that one child gets more attention than the other on any given day. But, who needs more attention? It’s funny, some people I talk to say the baby because it’s more important to bond with her as much as possible. Others tell me the two-year-old because she’s used to having me around and needs to know I am still here for her. The proverbial “they” say if she’s acting out, she must really, really need me, so I should go to her. Talk about confusing! It feels like no matter who I choose, someone is going to be mad.
   I will say it’s somewhat comforting to know that I’m not in this alone. We’ve talked to a lot of friends who have little babies and a two or three year old at home, and they are going through the same thing. In fact, some of their situations are even worse! Yes, I will admit it make me feel better to know my child is not the only one who grows devil horns every once and awhile. I guess it’s all a part of the growing pains (unfortunately, without Kirk Cameron or Tracy Gold, that’s a reference for all you 80’s fans!), and let me tell you these growing pains hurt and there are no commercial breaks! What else is in store for me? Guess, I’ll just have to stay tuned.

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