When I was pregnant with Cedar, I knew that having three kids was going to be harder than having just two. I knew that Bryce and I would be outnumbered, and that I was not going to get much time to spend alone with anyone. Someone always has to come first. Which means someone else is coming last. This week I have found it very difficult to find the right balance, and I feel like Porter is really getting the short end of the stick. Parenting guilt is high.
Porter had his last soccer game of the season on Saturday, and his team was having a party at the local pizza joint afterwards. But Bryce is out of town, and by the time the game was over, it was nap time, the girls were losing it, I forgot the Ergo, and I just didn't see how we could do it without 1500 major meltdowns. So I told him I thought the party was just for coaches, and we went home. Then on Tuesday he had his first martial arts class, something he was excited about. I really wanted to stay and watch, but Molly peed her pants while sitting on one of their super clean no shoes allowed mats, then threw a tantrum when I tried to remove her, so we had to sit in the car. Porter had a great time, but I missed it. Then on Thursday we had back to school night (again, no Bryce), and I was so distracted by Molly running off into giant crowds that it was hard to focus on everything Porter wanted to show me. And that day he told me that he "felt left out of our family." Awesome.
I know he just needs a little more attention. And that he's tired and grumpy from being in school. And that it's extra hard when Bryce isn't here to share any of this evening stuff. But still. I feel so bad for him. He really just wants to hang out with me, but it's always a poopy diaper or a two year old tantrum that comes before drinking hot chocolate and talking about Legos.
So today when I picked him up from school I left the girls in the car (happy and amused at the time), and spent a few minutes talking to his teacher and letting him show me a few things in his classroom. It was nice. And then we got out to the car, and Cedar was red faced and screaming with big, fat tears rolling down her face. And Molly had started in with the sympathy crying. And they all cried the whole way home. Sigh.
A friend of mine who has three kids herself (slightly older than mine) told me it only gets worse. That I will feel really guilty about short changing the middle one later on. So I suppose this is all just life. Good moments and bad. And that the gift of siblings will make up for it all in the end. And that Porter won't end up in therapy just because we didn't eat pizza one day when he was five. At least I sure hope so.