No, that's not really the crazy part. I think any one would get why my mind asks those questions from time to time. The crazy part is something I didn't really give much thought to until the last couple of months, the flip side. Will/does Nicholas get jealous of all the attention seemingly lavished on Alex? I mean I can't help but wonder sometimes how things might look from Nicholas's vantage point. Does/will he think that Alex gets more attention? We do have some pretty fabulous people who come several days a week just to "play" with Alex. Alex gets cool looking "boots", different types of play toys (i.e. equipment) just for Alex, etc. It may look like Mommy does a lot more one on one time with Alex as I am doing his daily stretches, exercises, as well as playing to entice Alex into a few more minutes in the stander. Nicholas also sees me taking Alex out for extra appointments and is just now getting to that age of him minus mommy = separation and oh by the way, he does not like separation so much right now. IS he thinking that he's somehow being left out of something special? If not now, will he feel that way as he gets older? Will he end up having resentments because of this?
I'm trying to be conscious of my time and energy with both of my boys. There is no such thing in parenting or life for that matter as fair and equal. You do the best you can in any situation. I try to spend some extra one on one time with Nicholas when Daddy's home or when Nana is over. Nicholas is a mommy's boy (for now at least) and I LOVE that. He gravitates towards me the way Alex throws himself at his Daddy (or Nana) the second he/she walks in the room. I actually love that too, the unique bond they share with each of us. Anyway, my hope is that I can be the best parent I can be to BOTH of my boys.
Mark and I have always said we wanted to treat and raise the boys the same. We don't want to "baby" Alex because of his disability. On the contrary, we want to give him the tools (therapies, exercises, equipment, etc.) to be just as independent as his brother some day and many days we ask ourselves are we pushing Alex too hard, not hard enough? Are we requiring the same from him as from Nicholas? Heck we even ask ourselves if we are not encouraging Nicholas enough on the mobility front because what if subconsciously we don't want him to get too far "ahead" of Alex? Oh the second guessing. I was a much better parent years before I became one. I've had quite a bit of experience with children. I worked in day care for several years and did private nannying for years through college. Gosh I remember how I used to just know I would NEVER do this or I would ALWAYS do x,y,z for my child, the exact opposite of whatever example I was seeing at the time. Ofcourse now having my own children, the light bulb has come on and I realize its never as easy as you assume it to be.
Funny now that you can look back and see that in every stage in life, you're the "expert" until you are the one actually submerged into the role. Then reality hits and you realize that you don't know half as much as you thought you did. Or at least thats what I"M finding. oh well. I guess if you didn't have that bit of blind confidence, you wouldn't take that next leap. and the next leap? Its always worth taking. Even if you are a bit blind while doing it.
In all of this worrying about what kind of time and energy I can give to each of my boys, I can't forget ofcourse that its not just about my time and attention (or Daddy"s) that matters solely to the boys individually but what they bring to each other. They might not have our attention all to themselves but they are sooooo fortunate to have a built in play mate and pal 24/7 which most of the time they seem pretty happy about. Its nothing short of awesome watching as they purposefully try to get each other's attention now, make each other laugh by doing a goofy face or squeal or trying to play hide and seek or chase each other.
Like any parent, I want my boys to be the best of friends. I think about how I can help teach them, raise them to look out for one another, support each other and cheer each other on. I know, I know, they are so little still and I know that I can't control every thing (although I may forget that in the next moment ha,ha) but I do believe I have a strong role to influence them.
I know their relationship began a long time ago but I am in awe of how it transforms from little newborn babies that curled up together to nap but didn't truly see each other or interact
here after growing three more months in the NICU
snuggling at home
not a care in the world, Nicholas making a good arm rest
to now banging on their crib with fierce determination to wake up their brother because hey, its time to play. and when awake always checking to see what the other one is up to. I can't wait to watch how their friendship develops.
They are quite simply my double blessings. If they can feel even a fraction of what my heart can barely contain for them, how tremendously they are loved, I will know I am doing an okay job at this parent gig.