Monday, October 1, 2007

Trying to get into a groove

Sometimes it just sucks to be the first-born. I mean, for a little while (21 months in Caroline's case), Caroline was our only baby, and we hovered over and photographed and scrapbooked every second of it. Temperature at 98.8? Call the doctor! No bowel movement in 24 hours? Call the doctor! First time smiling, sitting up, crawling, standing up in her crib? Alert the media!

But once the siblings arrived, get in line. Granted, Caroline still gets to hit the milestones first--first day of preschool, first ride on the schoolbus, first lost tooth, etc. But now she's in second grade, and that's great, but it's not really newsworthy. It's more of the same. And then there's Caitlin, who has just started kindergarten--that's a big deal. It's different and exciting for her. And Caitlin has started reading all by herself--another very big deal. Of course, being the only boy is a big attention-getter for Bobby. I feel like Caroline is getting lost in the shuffle a little bit. And as all kids know, if you want attention, act really bad! It's a surefire way to get Mommy's attention!

I guess I need to carve out more time just for her--not easy to do, because there's never a time when it's just the two of us. We always have siblings in tow. Also I need to use more positive reinforcement. She's doing well and has been doing well for a while, so it's easy to forget that praise and encouragement are welcome and useful.

Since Caroline missed two days of school last week, she is behind in her school work. The teacher sent most of it home over the weekend, but we didn't get it finished. And then today, she came home with three more pages to make up! This is ridiculous! I'm not going to chain her to the table and force her to complete it all in one day. She did a couple of make-up assignments in addition to her new homework today. Maybe by Thursday she'll be all caught up. It's tough at homework time--the little ones always decide they need me just when I'm trying to work with her. It's frustrating. Deep breaths!

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