One evening a few weeks ago, Trent and I found ourselves each with some errands we wanted to run. Mine were of the Target variety and his were of the Home Depot variety. We decided to split up.
"How about we each take our respective kid?" Trent said.
We paused and sort of giggled about that phrase but it's kind of true. You see, if you had to break it down, Sister is "mine" and Brother is "Trent's". This stems from the very, very beginning when they were placed in our home. Trent didn't know how to care for a baby. I did. I didn't know how to engage a toddler or work on behavior and instruction. Trent did. Plus I had my hands full with said baby so that simply left him with the toddler, a settlement he gladly accepted. In those first few weeks of chaos and stress, we just had to make it work as best we could and this resulted in a funky his and hers kids setup.
Though nowadays someone who didn't know better would look at us and assume we know what we're doing all around, some of the results of that early split up parenting still linger and they're not all good. While I have a deep connection to our daughter and Trent to our son, the vice versa doesn't ring as true. I have posted facebook statuses about literally hiding from Sister around the corner in the kitchen and Trent has had to kick me out of the house to go to Starbucks before because baby girl will not calm down unless she is in my arms or momentarily forgets I exist. Nobody else will suffice if I am present. Meanwhile, Brother will mind Trent pretty well but actively defy me, sometimes while laughing at me. So when he throws his food or cup on the floor or kicks me in the chest during a diaper change, Trent often swoops in to set him straight, and it works. However, that swooping and correcting just perpetuates the split up issue here since he continues to see Trent as the authority, not me. Trent's suggestion is for me to play with him more and spend more one on one time with him so he can gain some connection and respect...pretty hard to do though with a one-year-old plastered to me.
So maybe we can't win at this point. Maybe not right now with how young they are. These are the connections formed and skills relied on from the crazy beginning of our time together when we were just doing our best. It's on our brain though and we shall see where things go.
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