Nothing has really changed here.  I still feel like steam-rolled ass and the kids are perfectly perky.  We backed out of play group(s) last night because I just don’t have the energy to take the boys out today.  Let’s just hope they don’t drive me nuts today.  I’m thinking I will cave and put on a movie for at least part of the day.  My kids don’t usually care about TV, but once they get bored because I’m not trying to cram the alphabet into their tiny brains, they might settle for some "Wild Things" or maybe something new like "The Land Before Time."  My hope is that once Mega sees the dinosaurs, he’ll plop his little butt on his mini-Spiderman couch and veg out.  Skeeter won’t, but he might snuggle with me on the floor, which is always welcome. 

          That child and I have a very odd relationship.  While I don’t favor him, he and I just work differently together.  I have days in which I get irritated when people are in my bubble, even Mega, but Skeeter can always come snuggle or just touch my face (he loves to pat my cheeks), and it does the opposite of the others – it actually calms me a bit. 

          I have been meaning to talk about this for a while now because I actually feel very guilty about my relationship with Skeeter when compared to my relationship with Mega.  With Mega, I am harder on him with discipline.  For one thing, he’s older, so he understands consequences a bit better than Skeeter.  He also knows that he gets a warning, a time out, and then a swat on the butt.  If he pushes the issue past the time-out, he gets what is coming to him.  Only once in a while do I let him have a second time-out instead of the swat.  Skeeter…  *sigh*  The Mommy Voice doesn’t phase him.  He actually giggles when I try to verbally discipline him.  I usually have to remove him from the situation and if he goes back to it, smack his little hand and remove him again.  Then he cries and runs to me…  Mega did that, and sometimes still does, but I was able to hold him at arm’s length and explain to him why he was punished.  With Skeet, I just melt.  I become this sappy, completely spineless Mommy-Puddle and I am powerless against his crocodile tears.  I scoop him up and explain to him why he can’t do what he was doing (which is usually hitting his brother with a toy).  I always feel like an ass when I do it, but I can’t stop myself!

         

          After the age of 6-8 weeks old, Mega slept in our bed fewer than a dozen times in his life – all of which when he was sick.  He was in our room until he was almost 4 months old because he was tiny enough to fit comfortably in the bassinet and I didn’t want to move him to his own room yet.  After he was in his own room, it was like he never thought twice about sleeping with his parents again.  Skeeter slept in bed with me countless times, and if given the chance, probably still would be in our bed.  I admit that the first few times DH got deployed after Skeeter was born, I brought him back to our bed because it was better than sleeping alone and Skeet was always so cuddly – it was comforting and made the transition easier.  It even benefited Mega!  I was sleeping better, so I wasn’t as frazzled by his complaints and begging to see/be with his Daddy! 

          When Mega wasn’t talking, I was impatient.  I pushed baby signs and worked very intently with him on the formation of words and sounds and praised him like mad when he started talking.  The reading doubled and he just took off with his verbal development.  Skeeter hasn’t been at all anxious to talk and part of me thinks I am not pushing him because when he talks, he’s less of a baby.  How selfish is that?  In my mind, Mega is my little man and Skeeter is my baby.  While I know they can’t stay that way, I admit that I lament the loss of my baby.  I love that Skeeter would rather sit in my lap and point to what he wants than to say it across the room, while not bothering to stop playing. 

          I really don’t think I favor Skeeter over Mega.  I love that Mega is potty trained and that he did it with relatively little fuss.  I love that Mega is so willing to give hugs and kisses, either when asked for, or just because he feels like it.  I love that Mega will say, "Mumma, you’re da best!" out of the blue.  I love that Mega will ask me to read him a story or crawl up in my lap for a few minutes at a random time and then hop down and play.  I adore my Mega Man.  I think I hold Skeeter a bit more tight to me because we almost lost him a few times.  Between his heart beat issues (the same one Mega outgrew by the time he was a year old, but Skeeter still has a slight murmur), decrease in movements when I was sick, and just my ketone levels threatening to take him out, I was so scared I would have to deliver a stillborn or that his little body would be so devastated by my acidic blood that we would never take him home…  I just hold on to him because he held on to me.  He didn’t give up and I can’t give up.  It also helps that we were able to make breastfeeding work for the two of us.  He was almost exclusively breastfed until he was 7 months old, whereas Mega and I called it quits after 8 weeks and very little weight gain. On a 5 pound baby, very little weight gain is scary, so we went with what we knew would bulk him up…  Even saying that makes me feel guilty.  It makes me feel like I gave up on him, but I also feel like I was just trying to give him what we felt was best at the time…

           Oy this hurts.  I love my boys.  I adore them.  They both make me a better person in their own little ways.  They both do things to make me smile, cry, laugh, and want to strangle them.  I think I just love them differently because they are different little people.  Because they make me feel and react differently, my love is different.  It’s not better, more intense, or favorable, just different.  Mega is independent 90% of the time and I feel like our confidence in him made him feel secure enough to be that way.  Skeeter isn’t independent because he relied on me so long that it’s just second-nature to him to turn to Mommy first.  Not better, not worse, just different.  I try not to beat myself up over loving the boys differently, but I have to wonder if it’s normal to feel this way about your children…

          As parents of more than one child, do you love your children differently?  Do you ever feel guilty about it?

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