We went to a 1-year-old’s birthday party last night, which (logically) was attended by other 1 year olds and their parents. I realized for the first time that I have left the baby/toddler realm and both of my kids now are part of the “big kid” group.
Among other things, this transition means I can’t automatically bond with a new parent who has small children, because I can’t remember what my kids were doing when, which makes the whole, “Is he walking yet? How many teeth does he have?” conversation very one sided.
So while I was surrounded by toddlers and babies, I overheard one mom (now called Mom #1, who was pregnant with her second child) ask another mom (now called Mom #2 who had a 2 year old and a 6 month old) if her kids were “keeping each other entertained yet.”
Note: I did not laugh out loud when I heard this question. Nor did I choke on my drink. I may or may not have had to literally bite my tongue. Bonus points for me.
Mom #2 kind of sidestepped this question, which I think shows great restraint on her part. Because a woman who is already pregnant with her second child should not be forced to confront her pending reality before truly necessary.
I also showed restraint and did not share my reality with Mom #1. My kids are now in the elementary school years. Only recently have they started to “entertain” each other. And by entertain, I mean play without fighting for 20 minutes. Because after about 20 minutes, it all starts to go downhill.
Technically, I guess they do entertain each other more often. By arguing constantly. I highly suspect that the constant bickering was not what Mom #1 was thinking about when she said, “keeping each other entertained.”
Now I’m all for siblings. My sister and I fought constantly as children, and now we are best friends. I also think siblings help children learn empathy and compromise faster. Because siblings don’t cut you any slack. There are picture-perfect moments, but they are not as common in reality as the ones in your head.
Plus I’m pretty sure the loving sibling relationship didn’t kick in for me and my sister until I was 22 and she was 19.
Sorry, Mom #1. It will happen. Just think of it in terms of decades, not years.