Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Emily Rose

Since I last wrote about Emily Rose, there has been a positive change in her behavior. She's been all sugar and spice and everything nice for several weeks. I want to squeeze the stuffing out of her most of the time; she's in an adorable stage.

Now that Anna Grace is with us, my heart really aches for Emily. Not because she is jealous, but because she now gets so little time with us. She is loving and sweet to her sister. We just couldn't have asked for a better response from her, especially since Mommy and Daddy are always occupied or in a hurry. Somehow, she seems to understand the situation. What a dear girl! Sure, she still gets into things and dumps things and climbs incessantly, but those aren't defiant behaviors so much as natural curiosity at work. Yesterday, while in the playroom, she climbed on a toy grocery cart to reach the dishwashing liquid through the peek window between the playroom and kitchen. Having successfully reached it, she began pouring some onto the carpet. Luckily, Daniel, amused, saw what was happening and told me right away that we had an "emergency". LOL Never a dull moment with two year olds around, that's for sure. I guess we would have been alarmed if she hadn't entered this stage.

I have kept her nap and bedtime story times sacred; I feel like that's the only quality time she gets right now. A lot of teaching occurs through storytime, and a lot of love is translated as well. Sometimes Anna Grace is in my sling or in my arms, wailing during the stories. I do my best during those times; Emily is concerned about the crying and wants to help comfort her sister. She doesn't appear to mind the interruption of her stories.

The children born later in larger families, studies show, do less well academically than their older siblings, although I don't recall how this is measured. It's definitely worth looking into. I doubt if it translates into less success later in life. Rather, I think it points to a temporary disadvantage that works itself out as older siblings reach ages allowing them to really help in the early education of their toddler and preschooler siblings. Right now Daniel and Timmy aren't mature enough to tutor her with much effectiveness. It is coming along nicely though, between Emily and Daniel. He has always been very interested in her and does teach her a little through their play.

I think one of the ways we can parent a larger family effectively is to learn to look at every spare minute as one-on-one time with one of the children. Even five minutes of tickling or reading make a difference in a child's perception of their worth.

Although less fussy than any of our other children, Anna Grace does have her colicky-like periods, which happen to coincide with our already-harried bedtime routine. Don is back to second shift, leaving me to parent solo from 2 pm until bedtime. It could be worse. I haven't broken down in tears over it yet, and we just finished day two.


Jess said...

she sounds like a sweetie :) i'll be praying for you at nights... when i'm doing my routine i'll pray yours goes smoothly too!

i have to ask, how do you manage to get schooling done during the day? what do you do with emily while the boys are working? are you able to while nursing or are you taking a break? i don't know many other homeschooling moms and none in our area with young kids.

Evenspor said...

That is interesting research. I was number three of five, and I did the best academically of any of my siblings (up through high school - my younger brother was the first to finish college), but it's not like any of us did poorly either. I always felt I had an advantage because of my older siblings. My mom says I learned to read when my brother did, and I remember my sister teaching me fractions when she learned them. I would think in homeschool younger children would have even more of an advantage, because of the benefits of the multi-age classroom.