Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Well, it's been a long time since I've taken a moment to write about what the dink's been experiencing, been learning, been teaching me...but it doesn't mean I haven't been thinking about it. Since baby #2, "deuce", arrived three weeks ago, the dink has been constantly on my mind.

I guess we didn't do due diligence in preparing the dink for the arrival of his baby brother. Sure, we added "baby brother" to the prayer list at night, and we taught him how to point to mommy's belly (and consequently daddy's belly and his own belly) when asked the question "Where's the baby?", but I didn't delve into books on today's theories about how to welcome a second child into a single-child situation where, by all obvious perceptions, #1 appears to be 100% content with his uniqueness. And I'm sort of regretting it now.

I've seen a new side of the dink since deuce arrived--a side of him I would have been happy to go my whole life never seeing. My mom says he's acting like a typical two-year-old. But what I see is a confused little boy who vacillates between two approaches to handling the new baby situation: 1) trying to put on a happy face, saying "hi, baby k!" when he sees his little brother, sharing his doggy lovey with him when he's fussing, and trying to climb into my lap when I'm holding him so he can ask me to say "my two boys!"...this is the approach that melts my heart and makes me proud of his glass-half-full view of the world and his ability to smile even when he's hurting. But then there's 2) exerting every ounce of control over me that he's spent the past two years building (I'll admit to being only partially aware of this), using whining, crying, and screaming frequently as primary forms of communication, and generally expressing his anger at me if not the whole world through those handy 2-year-old vehicles of temper tantrums, refusal to comply with very basic requests (getting dressed, taking a bath, etc), and frequent use of the words no, mine, do it!, and gguuuunnnmmmm--a multi-functional sound of extreme displeasure. This is the dink that infuriates me, saddens me, and drives me to question why we think we're qualified to raise a second child when the results of the first one are less than admirable... So I'm just praying that this, too, is another "phase" that will pass as quickly as the newborn baby struggles of fussing-all-day and up-all-night.

When my sister was a teenager, she was a door slammer. It used to drive my parents crazy, especially when she slammed her bedroom door upstairs. My dad claimed it shook the whole house. I remember one time, after a heated shouting match with my dad, my sister slammed her bedroom door for final punctuation. When my dad came upstairs soon after to tell me goodnight, I promised him that I would never fight with him the way that my sister did. Of course, that turned out to be a lie. Yet here I am, staring desperately into deuce's blue bug eyes and pleading with him already to not act like the dink when he is two years old, or any other time. But I can see, as I sway him right and left ever so gently, careful to rock him to sleep with the most agreeable rhythm, that he's already exerting his power over me, and I have no will to fight him. So here we are, and here we go again.