Saturday, September 11, 2010

Fourth Child Syndrome

Fourth Child Syndrome. . .sadly, this is not a term I made up. I first heard it from my pediatrician sometime during Will's first year of life. It was probably somewhere around the one year mark when he still wasn't crawling. "Don't worry about it!" he laughed. "He just has Fourth Child Syndrome!" He then proceeded to tell me I had too many babies to devote enough one on one time to him and I probably held him too much and it would happen eventually (and it did shortly thereafter). He told me this again at 15 months when he wasn't walking (he walked a month later). And what's that? He cries EVERY SINGLE DAY when you drop him off at Mother's Day Out? No big deal . . . Fourth Child Syndrome (not really sure I get that correlation, but oh well). But now, I am starting to get it. Although, I think it is the OPPOSITE of what he initially said. I don't have TOO LITTLE one on one time with him. I just realize that he is my last baby and this is IT and therefore I am clinging to this child and making him the most ridiculous Mama's Boy that was ever made.

Case in point, he was invited to his little friend Avery's birthday party today. First off, only HE was invited - no sisters. This was MAJOR! And, it was at Eagle Gymnastics and he has been begging to take gymnastics again once sisters went back to school. We have talked about this party for weeks. I think he has the invitation stashed somewhere in his room so he could daydream about this upcoming event as he studied the colorful balloons on the front of the invite. He counted down the days. He taunted his sisters with the fact that HE was going and they were not. He had me take him to Target to pick out the exact right princess and art supplies that he just knew Avery would love. He picked his clothes out the night before. He woke up first thing this morning and was ready to go.

And then we had a soccer shots fiasco all over again. We walked into that gym and he took one look at all of the kids out there having fun and doing fun things like parachute play, jumping on the trampoline, jumping in the foam pit and he planted his feet and declared he wasn't going to do it. NOT. GOING. TO. DO. IT. Insert big sigh here. Why does this surprise me every single time, but yet it does. I went out there with him and held his hand while he watched trying to get him comfortable with everything. I PROMISED him I wasn't leaving. I showed him where all of the other parents were sitting and explained how I would sit there and watch his every move and take pictures. He was having none of it.

So finally I took off my shoes and tried to go out with him. I held his hand as he jumped down the trampoline and then the little gymnastics helper told me that only the birthday girl's parents were allowed to be on the floor for insurance purposes so I tried to explain to Will that I had to leave and for about 3 seconds I thought we were turning the corner and then as I got to the bleachers I could hear the wail. So, I broke the rules and snuck back out there to play with him in the foam pit and he was smiling and happy again and then another parent came out and was reprimanded for entering the forbidden gymnastics land so I felt that I should leave, as well. And this is the picture that I took of the poor child as he was leaving the gym floor to go get some cake.
It really doesn't do him justice. He is sniveling and has snot down his face and is wailing like a monkey. I just wanted to BEAT.MY.HEAD.AGAINST.THE.WALL!! It was SO embarrassing. Granted, he had just spent an hour and a half in the steaming heat at the first soccer game and had no nap, but still - he was looking forward to this for weeks, but he just cannot separate himself from me long enough to have fun. Or else he just cannot have fun when his siblings are not around - one of the two. And I am turning into THAT parent. I gave him SO many chances today and he kept playing me like a drum. I told him he could either go out there and play and quit crying or we were leaving. He wanted to play. So, I took him out there. He cried and caused a spectacle. I took him back off to the side and talked to him. I told him we were leaving. . .even got his shoes this time. He cried even harder and said NO NO NO he wanted to go play. So I took him back out there. And he cried. And on and on and on. People were just smiling that pity smile at me and saying, "Oh, he's just tired! We have been there. It's OK!" But I know what they were really thinking- BECAUSE THAT USED TO BE ME THAT WAS THINKING THE SAME THING! They were thinking - TAKE YOUR CRYING, WHINY, MAMA'S BOY KID AND STOP RUINING THIS PARTY!! If this had been any of the girls, we would have been long gone and they would have been at home in time out for the rest of the afternoon. But no, instead we ate some cake, said our goodbyes and headed off to yet another soccer game to finish off this busy afternoon and then the kid even got to go to Nana Yogurt tonight because we went to celebrate Mia's first goal of the season. And I WONDER where I have gone terribly awry with this one. . . .

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