“Mommy, I love you, please come and play with me”. Yes, blackmail – pure, simple, guilt trip blackmail. So, I get myself off the couch, and spend the next few hours playing ball, racing cars, having tea parties, and every sort of activity she can think of. It was very exhausting – I was already planning to cancel going to the gym the next day, who needs exercise when you have a 3-year-old toddler making you run around all over the house. Anyway, so eventually I tell her I’m tired and need to sit down and rest, maybe check my email. She asks her daddy to play with her, in the same “daddy, please, I love you, play with me” request. Her daddy, busy with fixing our internet connection, tells her to wait a few minutes. My lil’ one comes to me and says “Mommy, nobody wants to play with me”!
Ok, so yes I did feel the slightest twinge of guilt when she said that – but honestly, there was no way I could have spent any more time playing – I simply didn’t have the energy. She tried to continue to guilt me, I resisted – very hard. And, through it all, I realized that my lil’ one is VERY high maintenance. She has absolutely no clue how to play alone, she needs us to sit with her while she kneads her play dough, draws with her coloring pens, even when she’s watching something on TV. She needs me to put her to sleep, be attentive to her at all hours of the day, and only have eyes for her.
Maybe it’s being the only child so far – maybe having siblings would change her. But, from what I’ve heard so far, the eldest child doesn’t change his/her behavior when another comes along. The parents end up giving them more attention and giving in to their many, many, many demands to make up for the guilt they feel for bringing another child into the world of their first.
Even as I’m writing this, my lil’ one is asking me to draw with her – she’s at home with a bad cough and I’m trying very hard to focus on writing while she nags. I’m hoping the set of multicolored Sharpie pens I just gave her (her new obsession) will distract her for some time. Wish me luck!