The Unplanned Age Gap.

I was never one of those girls who dreamed of having a house full of kids, much less even one. It just wasn’t what I thought about.  But when I had the feeling, I knew it was time–both times.

Ava is going on 8 this year (December) and Allie just turned 2 at the end of May. They are almost exactly 5 and a half years apart.  It wasn’t intentional and it wasn’t unintentional, if that makes sense. I knew I didn’t want to have two in daycare.  I also knew Ava was my one and only up until the day Allie was born.

My brother and I are 3 years apart. So are most of my cousins.  It just seems like a logical amount of time most parents space out their kids. Intentional or not. I guess it makes sense because you don’t “start over” the way we did.  Ava was starting kinder when Allie was born. We had just gotten her out of daycare. (chaching then womp)

We are extremely blessed to have a wonderful daughter who has never really been jealous and has nothing but love for her baby sister.  I was so worried about the feelings that would be stirred up when she went from everything to sharing me to having to squeeze in some time in between the demands of a terrible two. Ava never had the terrible twos, for the record.

Until yesterday. What a day. It was bad. I haven’t been frustrated like that in a long time.

All the classic things you’re supposed to say and all the buzz words you’re supposed to use, I used them. They didn’t work. And she said exactly what she was supposed to say.  The fighting between them (yes, apparently a 2 year old and 7 year old like to fight over stuff, mostly territory) was at a peak and I was literally counting down to bedtime. Luckily we had a trip to Sea World planned for today so rushing them off to bed early was justified.  Oh my word, otherwise the insanity.

It’s hard. The two year old is TWO.  She gets it but she really doesn’t. And plus, SHE IS TWO.  How do you tell her to stop being a difficult terrible toddler and just be a normal human person that doesn’t flail on the floor because she didn’t get to eat popcorn for breakfast?

But then there’s the seven year old who knows better. She’s SEVEN. She should know better than to lock her sister out of the playhouse even though said 2 year old bit her earlier in the day because she invaded 2’s space.

How do you reconcile the age gap without totally letting two get away without completely giving seven the shaft?

It was one of those days where you literally look in the mirror and think, what have I done? And you feel like a total fail. Seriously.

keeping her distance...

keeping her distance…

****

But then there was  today. It was like I got a redo.

The three of us went to Sea World and I couldn’t have asked for a  better day. They were both sweet as pie. No one was obnoxious, no one was screaming, no one was biting or mean.

Ava was in classic Ava form and was so helpful and sweet to Allie. Allie said “bless you” to Ava when she sneezed and laughed at the movie on the iPad whenever Ava did. It made me so happy that the day I pictured actually turned out the way I’d hoped. We all had a great time and we all left happy and went to bed happy.

And then I’m reminded that she is one damn awesome, patient and amazing kid and I’ve gotta take at least a little credit for that. The sweet, little, strong willed toddler isn’t so bad either.

My heart is full. I am blessed with incredible little ladies.

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5 thoughts on “The Unplanned Age Gap.

  1. My kids are 3 years apart – and I always find myself saying the same thing about E. That she should know better. That she DOES know better. But she definitely doesn’t understand that S doesn’t know better. Ugh. And I’m the oldest so I remember feeling like my little brothers got the best of my parents I always had to be “good.” But I also adored them and LOVED being a big sister.

    It’s part of the mixed blessing that is siblings, huh? 😉

  2. I can so relate to this. My two are three years apart, and they are love each other sweet or fighting like mercenaries. My oldest will take a break from her sister to be alone. Unfortunately the nearly 3 year old doesn’t get the concept of personal space or playing by yourself. It’s a work in progress.

  3. My brother and I were unintentionally/intentionally 8 years apart — same with my husband and his sister. You can fight at 2 years apart, like our sons. You can fight at 8 years apart, like we did with our siblings. I don’t know what we fought about, but OMG, WE FOUGHT.

    There’s no perfect age gap that assures a lack of fighting. You got this. The twos will end, the threes will make you cry a little more, and you’ll just keep going because you got this. Promise.

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