In this day and age it's difficult to give everyone all our attention,time and energy that they need. As Quinlan gets older I'm getting a little time back from feeding that I can now redirect towards the other children and my husband. In the past I've watched other mothers, family members and our immediate family to see how they show love to their children both young and old.
Growing up I always thought my parents love for me came with so many conditions attached, for me meeting their conditions seemed impossible and often unobtainable. I came up with plans, I'd over think them and then something would happen and I'd move onto something else. I remember speaking to my Grandmother, she'd tell me that although being the eldest was difficult it didn't make me any less 'special'. So with my children I have tried to let them know how special they are to me with kisses, cuddles, individualised actions e.g. I use to play with Viveca's hair while feeding her, just spending the time listening to them and making time to be with them each day.
Sometimes its difficult getting that one-on-one time but there's ways around it. Over the weekend Mr Opoes mother celebrated a big milestone she turned 70 years young and a birthday party was held in her honour. Unfortunately Quinlan and I didn't attended but Mr Opoes took Caelan, Mackenna and Viveca off to the venue for a night with family, friends and food. Each of the kids wanted to do something to show Grandma how special she was even though they didn't remember what it was by the time they arrived. Mackenna had been working all day on a special Irish, English tap dance and she was super excited about getting dressed for the evening - so much so that she worn her dance shoes for most of the day.
Caelan and Viveca wanted Grandma to see how handsome and pretty they were so that all Grandma's friends would tell her that she had beautiful grandchildren. So Mr Opoes bathed the kids at 3pm and I started organising their outfits so that they would be ready to leave at 5.30pm. Unfortunately Mackenna had issues with her outfit because it wasn't pink enough (it's her new favourite colour). Viveca liked her clothes but she also wanted to have ribbons just like her sister and Caelan had picked his own clothes and he felt he wasn't dressed correctly.
So after much fussing around I managed to get everyone organised, dressed, give Mackenna a hair cut, styled hair, styled clothing and took a few photographs to remember the evening. Because my girls think that they are twins here is a picture of the two of them waiting to go to the car. Caelan also wanted in on the action so here he is doing his best 'print ad' impression.
When they arrived home I spent time talking to each of them about their evening. Caelan told me he had a belly ache because he had eaten too much, Viveca wanted to sleep with her balloon and colouring book but we managed to put them both in her cupboard so that they would be safe from Quinlan. Mackenna had fallen asleep on the way home so I took the time in put her in her pyjamas before putting her to bed. About 20 minutes after I put her to bed, I found her looking for her Barbie friends she told me that she had to tell them about the special night she'd had. Mr Opoes had come home looking a little worse for wear and tired.
The sparkle in his eyes had gone from when he'd carried Mackenna into her room, he looked sad. Now for those who known Mr Opoes you'd know he likes to hide his emotions and he will also buried his thoughts as he doesn't want to dwell on the things that have hurt him. So when I asked him what was wrong his answer surprised me.
During the birthday party two thank you speeches had been made and Mr Opoes hadn't been asked to join his family while these were taking place. As Mr Opoes hadn't been involved in organising the party he didn't expect to make a speech BUT what got him upset was that he wasn't asked to stand with his family they just didn't include him. In the past when he's been left out it hasn't affected him but last night it did, it's made him question his role in his family and he is now trying to show the kids that he loves them just the way they are.
So I'm hoping that we can learn from this experience, that in the future we don't leave one of the children on the sideline feeling left out and lonely. Next month we're going to start a new tradition with the kids, I
stole got the idea from Naomi. We're going to have a weekly date with each child, during this time we are hoping to have time to talk with them, answer their questions and just give them our undivided attention and to show them our unconditional love.