Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Of Siblings and Somethings

I fear that my son sometimes feels put aside because we need to attend to Isabella’s many needs. I fear that I may overcompensate. Yet, being conscious of this fact, I fear that I may not give him enough.

It has happened three times that we need to cancel a promised family trip. My son was so looking forward to each of those trips. Somewhere there we may have built him up to think that those family outings are his reward. Every single time he takes it hard whenever we need to cancel and move plans.

The first time was when Isabella had her first seizure. It was the day before our promised trip. We were ready to go. The hotel has been booked and we have our printed E-tickets packed with our luggage. Then we had to tell our son that our trip would need to be move to another date. He took it hard. But eventually he came around.

The second time was when Isabella seemed to be catching a cough and cold two days before the scheduled trip. It was the dead of winter, thus it was cold and freezing and there was some rain. We had to cancel our plans. Again my son took it hard and this time he asked us why things need to be moved all the time. It was a bit hard to explain that sometimes things change.

The third time was when Isabella had her 3rd seizure. We were going to the aquarium the following day. When he realized that seizure meant hospital and parents staying in the hospital, he kinda already knew that this translated to…. you guessed it, having to move our plans again. This time, I need not explain that things change. He already knew that. What he has a hard time understanding is why they need to keep changing.

A couple of days after the cancellation of our most recent trip, my son was asking when we can go reschedule our trip to the aquarium. Since Isabella was still a bit recovering from her seizure stint, we told him that we can schedule it on the weekend. However, he wanted to do it the following day and when I asked him why he said that it’s because he does not want it to change again so he’d rather already get it done tomorrow. I had to explain that his sister is still recovering, but he would not have any of it. He started crying silently and then I saw him push her. My son pushed Isabella.

While there is no excuse for this behavior. I was torned between understanding my son’s feelings and yet at the same time not having him be that person who would treat his sister that way. I asked him why he pushed her and he immediately hugged her, apologized, and kissed her on the head.

Does my son feel that he has to be pushed aside? Did he think that we favor Isabella over him? Does he resent her? Or is this just me reading into this more than for what it is? For all I know this is just one of those typical things between siblings. But the questions still linger, and I wonder about how I can find that balance in the not overcompensating and being able to give what is just enough to not have him feel neglected.

They have a secret.... he loves her and she loves him.


Kristen said...

Same Fears over here!!!! Same exact fears!!! Once a month or so my kids will go to bed or go to the babysitters and we will just not be there for a few days. *sigh* I worry about that all the time. I have taken special care to do things just for them and at the same time I worry that I'm seperating them from Alexander. They all have nicknames now - just for them. Also - I hug and kiss them constantly and tell them how special they are. Finally - I really try to get back "on the horse" as soon as we can. We were in the hospital on wed/thursday and went to the fair on Saturday. If he seems "ok" - then we try to go back to normal as fast as we can. But - you are not alone. I so feel you. ((hugs))

Mihaela said...

Am I wrong or it is true that this 18 month update is heavy with hit milestones compared to the previous one?
What is it that you are doing differently now? Please, share with us!
I am so very happy for Isay and you, I love her progress, she will be a crawler soon :) and so much more!

isdadoinks said...

@Mihaela: It sure feels like she hit a lot of milestones... although they seem like half-step goals, they are definitely half a step forward. I don't really think i did something differently... otehr than changing my perspective on things. This journey sure is interesting. I find that I myself transform as she works hard to make those positive developmental changes.