Any mum or dad with more than one child will share my sentiments – it is not easy to split our attention equally among the children. This is especially true when one of them is a baby.
Phoebie enjoyed my full attention for three and a half years, until Breyen came along. To say that she has to share the attention now, doesn’t even describe the full scenario. On days when Breyen is extra cranky, Phoebie hardly gets my attention at all.
Sure, I go through the motion of preparing her food, answering her questions with a nod of my head or a slight “Mm hmm” and “uh huh”. Those moments, however, are of not much quality. In fact, I end some of my days feeling bad and sorry that I wasn’t able to pay Phoebie much attention.
Today was one of those days I found opportunity to make it up to Phoebie and spend alone time with her. I couldn’t be happier that it was just her and me, even though it was only for about 30 minutes or so.
Ben had gone to work in the morning and would be back to have lunch with us. I didn’t know that he was reaching home and had told Phoebie that we would take public transport to meet her Papa at the mall nearby. Phoebie was disappointed that we wouldn’t be able to take the train because Ben coming back meant that we would be going in the car.
I decided to ask Ben to take Breyen with him in the car while I took the train with Phoebie. We would then meet at the mall.
I know it sounds a little silly to do that because it would be a lot easier to travel together. But I saw the short walk and train ride as a golden opportunity to give Phoebie my fullest attention. It would be just her and me, no crying baby brother, no conversation with Papa. Just Phoebie and Mummy.
On normal days that we go out as a family, Phoebie would be sticking to Ben. Today, she knew she was going to have some alone time with me as we travelled separately to our destination. So she happily said goodbye to Ben.
While walking to the station, she requested to be carried for a while, something she hadn’t done in a long time because I would be carrying Breyen or pushing the stroller most of the time. I decided that she certainly deserved some carrying after so long and carried her for a while. (I have no photo to show since I was carrying her and we were alone. Haha…)
While in the train, I asked Phoebie if she wanted to take a picture, and it led to many pictures. Haha… She suggested one expression after another. It didn’t matter that fellow commuters were looking at us. I was having a good time with my first born.
Our time alone ended shortly after we arrived at the mall as Ben and Breyen arrived too and had lunch with us.
It wasn’t long, and we didn’t do anything special. We didn’t talk about school or what she has been learning, but we simply spent time together.
At her tender age, Phoebie seemed to understand how special that short journey was too. She was extra sticky to me and hugged and kissed me even more than she usually did (and her usual hugs and kisses are not few).
Doing this today makes me want to do more of such things with her. I want her to know that I love her now the same way I did before her baby brother was born. Even though my fuse seems shorter on some days, no thanks to sleep deprivation or a cranky baby, Phoebie needs to know that Mummy’s love for her hasn’t changed.
Ben, I know you will read this. So let’s try to arrange our time so that I can spend time alone with Phoebie at least fortnightly. Please take care of Breyen while that happens (so you have more alone time with your son too). Thank you!