Perhaps it's because she's a first-born child old enough to remember the arrival of her younger sibling, her sensitivity to the boy's perceived plight is so acute.
On the flipside, perhaps it's because I'm a middle child, second born to a brother gifted with an abundance of natural charisma, that I'm less sensitive to these shifts. Additionally, I was 15 months old when my younger brother was born so whatever limelight I might have had as the "new baby" was short lived and too early for me to remember.
|It'll be a frigid day in hell when we get them|
to both look and smile simultaneously.
And because I'm easily satisfied and probably oblivious, I don't see it. I see the same happy little boy I always have who loves his mom, loves his dad and — as is expected with the arrival of a new sibling — is throwing tantrums a bit more now than he did before.
Like much of life's growth, it's not easy but it sure seems necessary. And, like much of what we endure before the age of four, he won't remember it.
Life as we currently know it is only rarely life as we once knew it. Things change and I'm happy the boy is getting acquainted with that early on.
This might not be enough to sate the emotional sensitivities of the marvelous woman I married, but it's enough for her (apparently) emotionally stunted husband.
It's work. It's home and, on weekends, we spice things up by going to the grocery store. That's it. It's also what we signed up for, so I'm not looking for sympathy. It could be worse of course. We've got our health. We've got a roof over our head. We don't live in Syria.
For her part Mrs. Blackwell is on the tail end of her maternity leave and while she won't admit it, she has to be looking forward to getting back to her work and her research.
|"It's all good."|
Fortunately my wife has avoided going crazy and signs of emerging weirdness are not yet evident. (Though she does get this look in her eyes sometimes that just lets me know, it's time.)
For now, her only relief comes in short spells. When I come home from work and try to take the little guy off her hands, it's often not for long.
For a time I can keep him occupied and I enjoy holding and playing with him. It's not interactive necessarily, but watching his eyes widen when he's lifted up high, is a particularly funny sight.
But then he starts crying. In response, I look for ways to settle him but my playbook is woefully thin and consists of little more than holding him in different ways, offering a litany of strange noises I think might be appealing to a baby, or walking around the house and trying to distract him in any way I can.
More often than not I fail, the boy turns as red as a tomato and Mrs. Blackwell needs to return to mop up for me.
Relief, at long last, is in sight.