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Home » 9to5to9, Boots' story

Nice to meet you, Little Guy

Submitted by on Tuesday, 15 July 2008 No Comment
From the time he was born, there's been one constant in Little Guy's life: Big Guy.

Big Guy, who tried to dump him out of the stroller before he had lived his first month. Big Guy, who developed a sudden affection for formula and pacifiers and snatched his brother's every chance he got. And Big Guy, who would gently caress Little Guy's head with a consoling ""it's all right"" as I warmed bottles.

Little Guy has lived few seconds of his life outside Big Guy's shadow, and it's quite a prodigious shadow to be in.

Big Guy, you see, is an ""it"" kid. The type of person who captures a room's attention the second he enters. ""Madre de Dios! Face of an angel!"" a woman exclaimed in Wal-Mart when he was about 7 months old. It freaked me out a bit, but by then I was used to his effect on people.

Little Guy, from the beginning, has been more reserved. He was only a few hours old when he threw a fit because there were more than three people in our hospital room. Too much of a crowd to suit him.

Still, I often wondered how much of his reserve was inborn and how much was due to living with a larger-than-life older brother.

Big Guy starting kindergarten meant I would get to find out. Monday mornings would be just Little Guy and me. A chance to make up for all that lost one-on-one mommy time study after study will tell you younger siblings suffer from lack of.

The first week was chaotic -- I'd promised Big Guy after-school cupcakes to celebrate his first day and, of course, I hadn't made them the night. So that meant a rush job after dropping off Big Guy.

Little Guy showed no interest in ""helping"" at first. Usually, two little vultures line up the second the beaters come out. That's an advantage of egg-free baking -- you can eat the batter free of salmonella fears.

He pepped up when I waved a chocolate-covered blade before him. He declined, though, when I offered the second. ""That one's budder's,"" he said. Which lead to a new round of tears. ""When we go get Big Guy?"" he'd ask every half hour. In between, he pleaded to go to school with his brother.

This week was calmer.

For one, Little Guy has given up on getting into kindergarten. Mean Mommy was ignoring his daily pleas of ""I taller now"" and no matter how many lunch boxes or back packs he toted Big Guy's teacher wasn't going to let him in .

He'd also started to realize the advantages of being a temporary only child. He asked to watch a Thomas DVD and immediately got his way without Big Guy clamoring to watch ""his"" cartoons. He laid Thomas track all around the TV room with no one to big-foot it. And he picked which side of the Dry Erase-chalk board easel he wanted to use without a long negotiation.

He didn't want to sing, dance or party, and he let me know incessant chatter wasn't necessary. ""Mommy,"" he said, rolling his eyes up at me from his Dry Erase drawing, ""can we just pretend this is a real quiet place?""

Imagine that. It was the same Little Guy who'd entered this world: a reserved, affectionate loner.

And his quiet statement washed away three years of accumulated mommy guilt.

Copyright 2008 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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