Once upon a time when I actually planned how my life would go, instead of the fly by the seat of our pants life we have now, I planned to have my children fairly close together. I wanted them to be about 2 1/2 to 3 years apart. I wanted them to be close. Friends, if possible. There's six and a half years between me and my brother and it's not that we aren't friends, but it is really only since we've both become adults and had children that we've reconnected.
I mean, we played together as kids and on nights when my mom had to work late, my brother would cook frozen pot pies for us and I always remember that he would carve my initials in the dough on top.
But then he got to be a teenager and he was gone a lot. And then he went off to college when I was only in the sixth grade. And right after college he moved to Thailand for two years.
So, I wanted my kids to have more time together at home. And wonder of wonders, everything started to go according to plan. Right after Bubba turned 2 I discovered I was pregnant again, which meant the new baby would be born when he was between 2 1/2 and 3. PERFECT!
And things have been mostly good. Bubba never seemed to suffer from any sibling rivalry, was never jealous of the new baby -- though that might be because we celebrated Big Brother Day on the day Punkin was born, trying to make the day about him, too.
They've always gotten along really well. Punkin adores Bubba and has become a little mimic -- repeating everything he says, doing whatever he does, sometimes much to our chagrin. But lately, everybody has gotten a little peckish. Bubba doesn't want Punkin touching any of his toys, even if he's not playing with them. Punkin', knowing this, will grab a toy and run off, already screaming because she knows he's right behind her, ready to tear the toy from her grasp.
I've become like the U.N. , running peacekeeping missions all day long. "Bubba, can she play with that toy for a little while? You're not playing with it right now."
"Okay," he'll grouse. "But it's not YOURS, Punkin. It's MINE! You can just look at it."
Or "Punkin' give that back to Bubba right now. He was playing with that. You have to wait your turn."
The other night, Mr. Daddy pulled up some videos on You Tube of Polynesian fire dancers (my dad and step mom just returned from Hawaii). Bubba was fascinated and immediately started searching the house for something he could use as a "torch." Coincidentally, at the same time, Punkin was playing dress up in her cheerleader costume and we had pulled her red and black pom poms down from her dresser.
She had two of them. Bubba had one too, but that was just the problem -- he only had one. And he needed two to properly execute a Polynesian fire dance.
"I wish I had one more pom pom" Bubba whined. "Can I play with one of Punkin's?"
"I don't know, Bubba. That's up to her. But you haven't been very good about sharing your toys with her lately."
He stood there, looking forlornly at her pom poms.
Punkin looked at him and smiled and said so sweetly "I'll just have one, Bubba" and handed him one of her pom poms.
And so, sometimes, I think, there is hope after all.
6 years ago