One and More

When you have one child, you don't have to split your attention between children. You don't have to make sure everything is "fair" and "even". You're not accused of loving another child more. You don't have to try to make special time for each child. When you have only one child, you are never out-numbered.

A few weeks ago, Sweet Pea had her last gymnastics class through the park district. It wasn't a recital, but the instructors said the parents could come and watch the last class. Each of the students took turns at different "centers" and showed what they've learned in the last few weeks. The whole Circus family went to watch Sweet Pea do her thing.

It was only right that we do so... about a week prior, we all watched Punkin do her thing at a school musical. The two littlest clowns doing their imitation of wiry, agile Energizer Bunnies for every second of the nearly 90 minute performance.

The families had to wait outside the classroom as the students future gymnasts warmed up. While we waited, it became immediately apparent that Buddy needed some "attention", which also made me realize I hadn't brought a spare change of clothes for him. I improvised, crossed my fingers, and prayed the next hour would be the only thing to pass quickly for Buddy.

We were finally let in, and took our seats to watch the class. Punkin was happy to be there to support her sister, even though you could tell she was getting a bit bored as time went on. The more bored she seemed to get, the more squirrely Buddy seemed to get.

Part of my attention was on our oldest and youngest clowns, even while I snapped pictures and clapped with pride for Sweet Pea and her cartwheels and jumping jacks and somersaults. It was so fun to watch her... from what we've seen so far, it appears that Sweet Pea has inherited my athleticism (or lack thereof). What she lacks in technique, though, she makes up for in heart. She tried and tried things, and was by far the most energetic of the half dozen kids in the class -- hopping up and down and bouncing hither and yon in between activities.

Are we proud parents? You betcha.

At some point, Punkin and Buddy went off to sit and read in a quiet corner. One eye and ear was kept on them while I struggled to capture Sweet Pea mid-cartwheel or somersault. That little chicky is fast! Buddy is just as fast, too and when he wasn't being read to by Punkin, he was anxious to get out on the mat and try the cartwheels and somersaults, too. It was a challenge to keep him still and occupied for most of that hour. Clearly, Buddy was craving some of the attention Sweet Pea was now getting.

Sweet Pea's spotlight time on the mats was over soon enough, and Buddy got his chance to somersault as Sweet Pea said goodbye to her instructors, while Hubby and I did what we could to inch our way out the door with all three clowns at the same time (quiet often, collecting all three clowns is a lot like herding cats).

A stop at McD's for a celebratory dinner (the drive-thru -- a concession due to Buddy's impending need for those spare clothes I'd left at home), and then home so Sweet Pea could bask in the glow of the circus spotlight for the rest of the evening.

Would I give any of them back? Not in a million years...


a. beaverhausen said...

Me either! Gotta love the odd mix that three kids provides.

Character Builder said...

LOVE that last picture! Lauren wants to sign up for gymnastics, and I think she would be like your daughter--lots of heart and energy, but certainly no future there.

Circus Kelli said...

AB - Isn't that the truth?!

CB - Yep, we signed her up just to give her "an outlet", not to start a career. She LOVED her class and was sad when it was over.

Claudia said...

That, my dear, is why we stopped at two. I think if I'd had one more, I'd be a drunk. Wait, I AM a drunk. OK, MORE of a drunk. ;) You're SUCH a good mommy!!!

WILLIAM said...

Middle child syndrome will eventually take over the middle one.

Circus Kelli said...

Claudia - We had paused at two, debating on whether or not to continue or hold. God made the decision for us. ;)

William - Sweet Pea was born with middle child syndrome. ;)

Bogart in P Towne said...

Very cool...I just hope you got the Micky-D's Sundae's...mmmmm

David said...

My boy, like your wonderful family, is my raison d'etre.
thanks for sharing those wonderful family days

Circus Kelli said...

Bogart - I knew I forgot something!

David - Thank you for reading. :)

Nance said...

Oh, hell. ALL kids, no matter what their birth order, get a dose of Middle Child Syndrome at one time or another. My eldest had it for about ten years. Then he turned 21 and could start drinking. LOL.

eclectic said...

LOL @ Nance!! But what you say is true, CK. At times they each genuinely need something that conflicts with something the other needs. Hobbesian dilemma, that. It's hard, and leaves me feeling like I failed somehow, even though I know anyone else would also have to strike a compromise in the same situation.

Lynn said...

What you say about the difference between one and more is very, very true. My oldest was thirteen before any others came along. Things were very much simpler and easier with the one.

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