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One-on-One Time After Having Two (Guest Blogger Highlight!)

Having one child is difficult. Having a second can often make you long for the days of one! One of the biggest challenges of having two is trying to balance quality time with each child, particularly for the first child who is accustomed to constant undivided attention.  Fellow mother-of-two,  award-winning writer, resume-and-website building *extraordinaire,* Nikki Igbo gives insight to this challenge in the following post about her firstborn son. Check out other posts from her at nikigbo.com 

 

For 23 months, my eldest son was an only child who got to regularly enjoy the exquisite luxury of having both parents all to himself. Then his little brother came and that was the end of that. Though Osi was immediately affectionate with and protective of Gabriel, I know it had to be a shock to suddenly have to share EVERYTHING…Mom, Dad, his bedroom and eventually his toys, his favorite snacks and the stool in the bathroom to reach the sink. For the most part, my first born took it all in stride with minimal complaints and few tantrums but I noticed the subtle change in him over time. 
 
Osi, who is usually very social and doesn’t really know or comprehend the meaning of the word “stranger,” became more and more withdrawn, shying away from group activities and wanting very much to spend every possible minute with me. Drop-offs at daycare were a brutal daily reenactment of the scene in the Color Purple where Celie is separated from Nettie. I’d leave him there–his cries echoing down the hallway–feeling like the worst parent in the world. I made up my mind to set aside at least one day each month for a Mommy-and-me experience with both boys. Sure the days usually coincide with a pediatric/dental appointment or completion of errands, but it always includes a super-fun and memorable activity. 
 
After dropping off Gabriel, Osi held my hand and looked up at me as if to say, “I’ve been wanting this for a while, Mom.”
The thing I love most about Osi is his sense of adventure, because he’s always been open to new (and exciting) experiences, I knew Osi would enjoy Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirrors exhibit  by at Atlanta’s High Museum of Art. I scored advanced tickets for a Friday morning and was immediately relieved to see Osi’s delight at playing hooky from school that day. After dropping off Gabriel, Osi held my hand and looked up at me as if to say, “I’ve been wanting this for a while, Mom.”
 
Yeah, that expression was priceless but what I was really looking forward to was that, “Whoa, this is crazy but I am totally feeling this” face he gets when I’ve hipped him to something with which he makes an immediate connection. That happened at about 11:45 am, after having patiently waited in line for about half an hour to get into the exhibit and then waiting another 20 minutes to access one of the actual Infinity Mirror rooms. My boy is patient but there’s only so much waiting any three-year-old can take. Osi had had just enough of his stroller and the lines and not actually knowing what the hell was going on when I picked him up and carried him into the mirror-covered room and the mirrored door closed behind us. And there we were staring at an infinite number of ourselves surrounded by an infinite number of little white cones with pink polka dots. Osi’s mouth dropped open and he let out a loud, slow, “Whoaaaaaa.” Mission accomplished. 
 
We haven’t had another daycare dropoff meltdown since. Instead, Osi waves goodbye and blows me a kiss each morning. 
As we moved around to the various other rooms, Osi was now into it, anticipating what the next room would hold and excited to experience that infinite effect for another brief 30 seconds. The absolute best experience was the room called the Aftermath of Obliteration of Eternity. As the interior went dark and the hanging lights around us glowed and flashed in staccato, Osi exclaimed, “Like fireflies!”  When we exited that room, Osi turned to the museum attendant and shouted, “Thank you!” He sported the widest grin on his face.
 
We haven’t had another daycare dropoff meltdown since. Instead, Osi waves goodbye and blows me a kiss each morning. 

 

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The “Fireflies” effect: Infinity Mirrors in Atlanta, GA

View more of Nikki’s work at nikigbo.com 

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