Wednesday, January 10, 2007

One of Two, Two of Two

As Husband calls the Hobbits a rather Trekkie name I ponder on the whole world of multiples.

No, I am not going to embarrass myself by navel gazing or anything wistful or superfluously pensive. This is all brought about by watching Nanny 911, an American take on Supernanny using British nannies to sort out American families. Nice to see American tiddlers can be as wild as home grown ones.
So this episode featured a family with triplets, one girl and two boys (didn't say if the boys were twins or not as can be the case with triplets, with one split egg making what would be twins triplets instead - end of technical discussion.) The tiddlers were 3 years old, cute as anything and although naughty it wasn't in the sense that you would think they should be sending them to boot camp. Turned out that the mother unknowingly had been favouring youngest boy over eldest leading to the youngest being spoiled and the eldest having esteem issues.
To put it bluntly, the eldest was being ignored, punished for things his brother was getting away with and it was not only heartbreaking to watch (look, real tears I had in my eyes and all) but was leaving the poor boy confused and lonely. There is nothing that will tug at the heart of a mother more than seeing a child treated like that, his big sad eyes pleading with his mother to play with him as well as his brother. The sister, as all girls do, was content to play by herself with her annoying brothers being dealt with, or not, by mother.
So here is the ponder.
Does this happen with all multiples? It would kill me if I ever thought either Hobbit felt I loved the other more. With esteem issues myself steming from childhood (therapist heal thyself, okay I'm not a therapist...I digress) I tell the Hobbits every day I love them, that they are great boys and praise them both with each achievement. I want confident not arrogant boys so don't go overboard as it sounds like from my last sentence.
Yet while eldest Hobbit can demand the most attention youngest hobbit, by virtue that he was fished out last, has that whole baby-of-the-family going for him. It is a hard balance, a constant juggling act. We try, when we think the boys are feeling left out in any way, to have what is known in the TIBS household as 1-on-1s. One day Husband has one Hobbit for a day out while I take the other on a separate day out, then the next time we swap Hobbits.
Like I said, a juggling act. But if it means my Hobbits are confident, have good self-esteem and a sense of self worth then it will all be worth it.

No comments: