I'm starting to get the feeling we're not going to be expanding our family. (*sigh*) It's not that Mike and I have discussed it, but as Jason gets older and more independent, going back to the baby stage simply isn't as tempting. Part of me is very sad that I'll never get to experience pregnancy again and part of me is relieved that training another baby to sleep through the night is not in my future. Just to be clear: I'm much more sad than relieved. Also to be clear, this is not a final decision, per se, merely an observation of a probability.
Honestly, my biggest concern is that we currently have an odd number of kids. Jason is getting old enough to truly play with his sister and brother now, and I'm noticing there's usually an odd man out when all of the kids try to do something together.
Ryan and Kaylin have always played together pretty well, even more when Kaylin was younger and passively went along with whatever Ryan wanted to do. After she began pre-school and gained some independence, the bickering increased because, suddenly, Kaylin had an opinion. Even now, when Jason is napping on the weekends and the big kids need to find something creative to do, they really do get along beautifully. Most of the time...
|The big kids "fishing" last weekend.|
When Ryan was still in public school, Jason and Kaylin played much more nicely together. She's the loving, motherly type and played with him the way a babysitter would...teaching, showing, nurturing. Around the time he turned two (which was ironically when Ryan began homeschooling), he started getting really rough with her. He would hit, pinch, scratch or pull her hair just to get the dramatic whiny-cry that she never failed to deliver. She smothered him with love and he retaliated by being rough to drive her away. Watching their little dance reminded me of an abusive marital relationship...it was horrible! Months later, we're finally getting a handle on the situation: he's learning to be more gentle while she's learning not to react emotionally, which only eggs him on.
|Mr. Potato people|
Then there's the boys. Every day after Ryan walks Kaylin to the bus stop, there's a 30 minute window of time before Jason goes down for a nap. The way the boys play together never fails to crack me up. Jason can be (almost) as rough as he wants with Ryan and they thrive on getting their energy out on each other. Their new little bond is really cool to watch!
Unfortunately, when they're all home on the weekends, it seems that they can't quite figure out how to cooperate in their play. I'll overhear Jason wrecking a creation that the big kids made or exclaiming that it's his turn (when it's usually not) while Ryan and Kaylin battle over who will be in charge of the situation.
Once Kaylin is done with Kindergarten in a couple weeks, this is something I plan to focus on. I hate seeing one kid left out when the connection between the other two kicks into high gear. The kids all three get along well when in pairs, but they don't mesh quite as well when they are all together.
I'd like to see all three kids continue to have a good relationship without accidentally kicking someone out of their little club. Even though I was an only child, I saw this same pattern with friendships: the drama increased when a third friend was added.
Any advice from anyone who had two siblings? Is it even possible to avoid this predicament?!?