Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Dear Papa Series: Sugar, Spice, Snips and Snails

Dear Packrat,

The weekend was most stressful. The twins wanted to stay on at Grandma's and Evan cried at every "No" uttered in his direction. I think they were missing you and weren't really used to your unusual weekend absence. Thankfully, they settled by Sunday but the squabbles and pushing each others' buttons persisted.

The various combinations existed. Jordan annoyed Evan. Evan annoyed Jordan. Muffin annoyed Evan and Evan annoyed Muffin. Surprisingly, the only combination that seemed missing was any sort of antagonism between Muffin and Jordan. As usual, Muffin was following Evan around like a hungry puppy dog. That, on its own irritated Evan. Then there was the situation where Muffin's Godzilla impersonation caused Evan's carefully planned architectural  masterpieces to be destroyed and elicited great yowls of hollering anger with thumping ensuing.

While I agree that Muffin shouldn't be allowed to get his own way all the time and occasionally deserves a thumping, Evan has to be a bit more charitable to his little brother. So, he got massively told off for having administered the thumping. The only way for him to then show that he deserved more pity than his little brother is to burst into louder and more dramatic.

In swoops Jordan who has been quiet like a mouse on the sidelines trying to decide whose side she is going to be on. This time, she decides Muffin because "My baby brother is so cute". She lets him lie on her tiny lap and strokes his hair and makes shushing noises the way I do to them. Of course, the little one knows how to play up the attention he is getting from her and sobs pitifully while Evan looks angrily on.

 It's funny that even though we send out the same message to the both of them, that they have to protect and look after each other, Evan is more ambivalent towards Muffin (whom he probably sees as competition) and Jordan tries to mother everyone; to the point of smothering them (read: Evan!)

When I was very stressed on Saturday night resulting in me letting rip at them and then burying my face into the pillow, she was the one who came to me and soothed my hair. She really does do it very well, she is the natural empathiser.

Our five year old son, however is very boy. One suspicion why Jordan prefers being on Muffin's side is that he lets her mother him, in fact, the boy laps it all up. Evan would recoil from Jordan's hugs as if she had the plague and would get agitated if Muffin tries so much as to land an apology kiss on his head. The only people who are allowed to hug him are of an older generation; us, grandparents and people generally over the age of 30.

But Evan does have his very sweet moments. Offering to kiss Muffin on his head, allowing me to cuddle Muffin to sleep even though it meant I couldn't cuddle him, encouraging Muffin to go potty and teaching him about planets and other geek exploits. Jordan and he were bickering a few days ago and I was done yelling at them so I told them to hug each other. They gave each other such a huge bear hug, they collapsed into a pile where upon Muffin descended upon them and they laughed like loons for 30 minutes after!

He's a doer, our older son. Much like you. While not big on the affection, pretty big on the action. I can only hope that he will always rise to the occasion when it comes to his siblings and that Jordan will show him a thing or two about how being gentler with Muffin and still be all tech-geek-smart.

More on their funny antics tomorrow.

Good night, where ever you are.

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