Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Sometimes I wonder...

why I even bother. I spent a good hour cleaning up the sprawl of Barbies across the family room floor, sorted them, got them tucked away in their cabinet, and even swept and mopped the floor. I swear I was done 2 minutes when E had the other cabinet which houses the Polly Pockets (and desparately needs to be sorted!) open and began filling the floor again with them. AAARRRGGGHHH. Well, at least I gave her a clean canvas to create upon, right? That will have to be my mantra today. Clean canvas. Clean canvas. Clean canvas. Are we feeling better yet? At least the missing Barbie stuff proved to just be hiding with the Polly Pockets.

The flip side of this coin is that the girls managed to play very well together today. All those toys had been jumbled up inside the cabinets, not looking very inviting to play with, for a long while. Once we got them out and in the spotlight, they wanted to play with them all. And they wanted to play together. Which has been a problem lately. A has not been too interested in playing with E, and as bossy and annoying as E has been lately, I can understand why. It is like A has got this new maturity and can not handle the lack thereof in her little sister. Yet. Or maybe E will find a new level soon and we will be out of this hairy place.

All this got me thinking of firstborn children and the role they fill. My mother was a firstborn and so was I. I was told all my life that she did not want to put upon me the burden that was placed on her as the firstborn child in her family. So she tried not to place too much responsibility on me to act the oldest (I say act because usually firstborns are often asked to perform above their developmental level). So, basically, now my brother thinks he is the oldest. It all fell onto him, I guess. Well, some of it, as I know I still fill the role to a good degree.

Anyway, I was thinking about how I ask so much more of A, knowing she has the ability and the development to handle more than E does and will for some time yet. But always reminding them that she is two years older, or E that she is two years younger when she wonders why she can't do something yet, seems to be bolstering those birth order roles. A is the oldest and E is the baby, and boy are they ever! I wonder how it would look if E had been born first with her personality as compared to A's. Is A so mature and responsible because she is 6, almost 7, because she is A, or because she is firstborn? Is E so much more to handle because she is 4, almost 5, because she is E, or because she is the baby(for now)? I wonder if I will ever be able to separate myself and my mistakes from (how I see) who my children are? That is, will I ever be able to not blame myself?

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