I don’t often post things on here that are really personal, and I don’t usually seek advice, but I know that I have some people reading that may be willing to share experience and advice.
I’ve been blessed with two very different children. Liam, my older son, who is 6, was born quiet and serious. He barely made a sound until he was 2 years old, when he suddenly started talking in complete sentences. He generally prefers to play by himself, coming up with complex adventure games or drawing out mazes/making up stories. He sometimes comes off as a little awkward around other boys in the community who are into bikes and wrestling so he doesn’t have a lot of friends though he tries to share with them about his adventures and creations. He doesn’t go out of his way to communicate with others (Mama’s shyness) and sometimes when asked simple questions (like how old are you?) hesitates and then comes up with some intelligent answer but not normally how one would answer (like I am half of twelve, or I’m 1/4 of 24). So yeah, totally wonderful but shy and a little “different”. Morgaine, who is 4, is a complete social butterfly. She’ll talk to anyone. She has a killer smile and dimples so everyone is immediately taken by her (and aren’t afraid to tell her how cute and wonderful she is). She really does light up a room. Unfortunately though, I think this is wearing on the whole family.
Because of her “cuteness” she gets an incredible amount of attention when we are out. Everyone wants to talk to her (and then tell me what a wonderful blessing she must be to me). They’ll have a 10 minute conversation with her with lots of compliments thrown in, and not really talk to Liam. I’ve had people ask Liam a question and if it takes him more then half a second longer to answer than they think it should, turn away without waiting for him to reply. I’ve had people walk away from him while he was talking to them. No one ever compliments him or tells me how wonderful he is (note that he is always around when people are gushing about Morgaine). He’ll talk to people and they’ll all but ignore him. We were getting reading for a prince and princess tea party this spring and both kids were really excited. We went to Value Village to pick out a dress and a nice “knight” outfit. I found a cute little dress for Morgaine and the perfect handsome vest/pants/while shirt for Liam and we were standing in line to pay. The lady in front of us struck up a conversation with Morgaine about her dress and the party and Liam kept trying to talk to the lady, too, to tell him that he was going to be a knight. She finally looked over at him and he showed her his outfit and excitedly told her that I was going to make him a crown and all she said was “oh,” and went right back to talking to Morgaine. The lights went out of Liam’s eyes and I wanted to SHAKE her and tell her how wonderful my little boy was (and I am tears as I type this because I love him so much).
Morgaine also has the attitude that she’s cute and can get away with just about anything because of her cuteness. This is a whole other issue but I want to put it out there because I am struggling with it right now. I don’t find her cute, anymore. I find her really difficult to deal with. I don’t like people with a smug attitude and I HATE seeing it coming from my FOUR year old. Honestly, I don’t feel all that blessed by her (at this moment, though I certainly LOVE her). So if there is any advice on dealing with that as an extra issue, I’d love to hear it, too.
My current issue is that I went to register Liam for drama class this weekend. I figured he’s enjoy it because he has an excellent imagination and I really wanted him to have an extracurricular activity and didn’t think sports would be his thing. I took both kids with me to the registration and when we went to pay for the lessons the fellow (a lovely, animated man) asked who the lessons were for and I said they were for Liam. Then he asked about the cute little girl with the big smile and said they’d LOVE to have her. I told them that she wasn’t old enough this year but we’d seeing for the next one. He and Morgaine started talking animatedly about her imaginary dog, Purple, and of course Morgaine gets right into it and is her animated excited self and Liam’s trying to get a word in but no one’s really paying much attention to him. They talk for a good 10 (at least) minutes and the teacher who has been watching calls me over and says “You know, I would LOVE to have Morgaine in my class. She would really, really love it,” and knowing she would and still not having found an activity for her, I sign her up as well. Now, I have both kids in the same class in another instance where Morgaine can outshine her brother. I think that it is a really good group but I still fear that Liam will get left behind.
I am terrified that having a sister who gets so much attention is wearing on Liam. He seems less and less willing to participate in things or even try to talk to people and often expresses to me that any of his “problems” are Morgaine’s fault. How can I make him feel better about himself? Is there a way I can get people more interested in Liam? Is there a way that I can get people to STOP complimenting Morgaine ALL THE TIME? I think it is nice that people like her but I don’t think it is particularly good that she hears about how beautiful she is all the time (because really that is what they are complimenting….her smile, her dimples, her blue eyes, her dresses).
What would you do? Have any of you dealt with similar situations? (I’m even going to put my e-mail out there in case anyone would prefer to e-mail me…..it’s Cookie5765@yahoo.com)
Thanks for listening….