Running Boogie ragged?

While I run around desperately trying to get services, out of district placement, coordinating therapies (work has to fit somewhere in there too), Boogie sits patiently waiting for Mommy to be done with her rants so that she can get some time playing “Beauty Salon” with her.
I have always tried to do my best to split my timely equally and fairly between both kids, but despite my best efforts, I feel that Boogie gets the craptastic end of the stick.

Eli, for example, has never been the type of kid to throw a temper tantrum in a store so that he can get the toy that he wants. On the contrary, he always sat quietly while we put toy after toy in front of him hoping that we would get a shriek of glee out of him. His lack of words often leaves us guessing with something as simple as picking a toy out for him. That would explain the mound of unplayed, practically new toys that we get often from well meaning friends and family. Sorry I wish Eli liked blocks or crayons or legos! Anyway, the other day while the kids and I were in the clearance section of Target the other day I grabbed a heavily discounted Thomas the Train track set and put it in front of Eli. Much to my surprise, he FINALLY let out that shriek of glee that I had been so eagerly anticipating and he grabbed the box away from me and hugged it to his chest! I was so happy when we got home and he thrust the box into my lap so that I could open it. To watch him say, “Ooooh, oooooh!” (Choo, choo!) as he pushed the miniature Thomas around the tracks brought tears of joy to my eyes. In my typical overzealous Mommy style, I went on the mad hunt for every Thomas the Train Take and Play set I could find on Craigs List.
I drove all around Jersey picking up bits and pieces of sets so Eli could have large track to play with.

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The whole time Boogie was a good sport and helped her little brother set up tracks and push the trains around. Don’t get me wrong Santa had been VERY VERY kind to her for Christmas and her birthday which had only been two weeks before Christmas. I just couldn’t shake the feeling of guilt as I brought train after train for Eli with excitement while I never display that much excitement over buying a Barbie.

Wracked with the feeling of being a horrible parent the overzealous Mommy came out in force. On Christmas Day, I decided to keep Boogie busy with every extracurricular activity her little heart wished. She is after all, a really great kid. Putting to the side her occasional bratty moments, Boogie is patient and loving with her little brother. She always helps look after him and has become a third parent of sorts whenever I need help. So besides the mandatory Sunday catechism classes, I proceeded to sign her up for cheerleading, gym class, swim class, Spanish classes and Girl Scouts. That’s not even including summer camp, soccer and music lessons that are coming up later in the year. In addition to that I decided to make up for all the missed time with her and take her to a Mommy/Daughter make over, the movies, lunch… I must say though, she really seems to love keeping busy and having some undivided Mommy time all to herself. So even if it means Mommy running on empty, just the smile on Boogie’s face helps me forget the exhaustion.

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This sibling stuff is particularly tough for me to figure put since I am an only child. I was the lone kiddie ruler of my house as a child so my never had to concern themselves with splitting time equally. Let alone splitting their time with a child that has special needs.
Add that to having another child that is typically developing and it get interesting. In my opinion it’s all about having checks and balances. Making sure the stones in the balance are as equal as possible..

My biggest fear is that one day Boogie will turn into the ugly teenager and say “You always gave him more attention than me” or “You loved him more than me!”
Thus my over compensatory behavior with her. I am sure that somewhere a therapist out there is shaking their head and predicting the demise of my family. Definitely I am NOT claiming to know the answers to this issue, but I am handling it the best way that I know how to. By loving my children and spending as much quality time possible with them.

So if anyone out there has amy ideas on how to handle a situation like this then I will GLADLY be all ears! 🙂

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