One thing that families with only one child miss out on is the camaraderie, and coinciding lack-there-of, between their children. To be honest, sometimes I look back with something more than just fondness for the days when my oldest child had no one to fight with. Of course, the rare times he actually plays with his siblings makes up for that wistfulness on my part. But I have three kiddos which means that there are just a whole bunch of relationship dynamics happening at our house, compounded by my own capricious moods. However, the relationship most fun (and torturous at times) to watch unfold, is between my 6 year old daughter and 3 year old son. For the most part, they are best buddies.
When my oldest child was two months old, my husband and I schlepped across the country with almost everything we owned so as to show my parents their second grandchild. Those of you who have travelled with an infant know my pain. You could have fit a family of 4 in our suitcase, let me tell you. Over the years, the trauma of that trip has faded, but one memory has remained; it is nearly as freshly etched today as it was 9 years ago. A college friend stopped by to see us and I was amazed at how her 3 boys just climbed all over her.
“That is insane,” I thought. Why on earth would any parent let a child use him/her as a jungle gym? Such pondering is easy to do when your infant is readily contained in a car seat. Of course, anyone with a 3 year old knows that answer.
You let them in order to do something else. Like have a conversation, or eat a sandwich, or use the toilet, or iron a dress shirt. (Just joking on the last one.)