Friday, April 13, 2012

Sibling Rivalry

From time to time people will ask us if we plan to have any more kids. In all honesty, in the seven years since we've had Abby I've gotten a twinge for having another baby once, when one of the kiddos in the church nursery fell asleep in my arms. It was such a faint little twinge, that never morphed into a full-blown longing. When I told Jason about it his response was something like, "Why don't you wait until you put Abby to bed tonight, and then we'll talk." What a smart man! My "twinge" was long forgotten after our cumbersome bedtime ritual.

People have talked to me and said things like, "Abby would love to have a baby brother or sister," and I agree, she would - until that little one took Mom or Dad's attention away from her. I can hear her now, "Mama! All done baby!" I've also thought it would be good for her to have a sibling for the future. I worry about who will look after her when we are old. Frankly, that is not a reason to have another child. The fact of the matter is, I don't want any more children. Is that bad to say? Abby makes me happier than I could have ever imagined, and fulfills me completely - I don't feel as if I'm missing anything. Our family is complete. In the words of a friend of mine: "My quiver is full."

Now, having said all that, there are some disadvantages to having an only child. Siblings teach patience and sharing. They also can play together. Sometimes I wonder what it would be like if I wasn't Abby's primary playmate. Then I remember some of the knock-down, drag-out fights my sister and I had (Actually, I was the only one doing the knocking-out and the dragging -down - I was a bit of a brute when I was younger. I know, hard to believe, right?). Some days we fought over everything: who would put the cap on the toothpaste, what sink we got to use, who got to play the first game of Space Invaders, and the list goes on and on. I think about those times and I'm grateful that, after a long day of correcting kids, I don't have to come home and break up fights or be a referee....or so I thought.

This evening, after about the fourth time that Bruiser had nosed Abby out of the way to get to the mirror, I heard myself say, "Alright you guys, that's enough. If you can't get along I don't want you anywhere near each other!" What!?! I had to stop for a minute and think about what just happened. Was I really just yelling at the kid and the dog to get along? I watched as Abby gave him one more shove and said, "Watch out, Bruiser!" and had to laugh. For all intents and purposes Abby did have a sibling - Bruiser.

This is one of my all time favorites of these two!
I have watched those two needle each other so much that it drives everyone in the household to their breaking point, but I have also seen those two as thick as thieves. A perfect example is when Abby comes home from school. As soon as Bruiser hears the bus (which is before we even see it) he starts barking, and he doesn't quit until Abby is in the house. Today, Abby threw her arms around him and told him, "Hi Bruiser! I love you - so much!" Then, after dinner Abby decided to pull out her red dress. There was a lot of noise so I turned around to find Abby standing at the mirror, with her arm slung around Bruiser's neck, singing into a microphone with Bruiser howling away beside her. Within a half an hour Abby was "tattling" on Bruiser for stepping on her dress.

At the moment the two of them are separated - they needed some time away from each other - and Mom needed some peace and quiet. In the end, the way I look at it is that it's a "win-win" situation. Abby gets a confidant and a sparring partner, and I don't have do any 3 a.m. feedings or diaper changes - perfect!

As promised - a plate of pancakes for breakfast today!

I snapped this picture as we were waiting for
the bus. Throughout the day I would open up
my phone and look at it - it just made me laugh!
The look on her face is priceless.

Now if this doesn't brighten your day, I don't know
what will. Abby decided to do a little tap dancing
before the bus arrived. Enjoy!

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