Oh my poor, poor children. They are growing up. And it's tough.
First, we've had a run of birthday parties where my eldest was invited and the youngest wasn't. I knew this was going to happen sooner or later and although the parents kindly invited the little guy, I feel that I have to let the eldest have his own friends, and his own fun, without having one eye out for his little brother all the time. My poor little boy just couldn't understand why his big brother was going somewhere with a big present and coming home with a party bag and a balloon hat. I did my best to not make a big deal of the parties; we did special things together while the older brother was partying, had our own party bags, had our own fun, but his little voice still insisted that 'It's not fair'.
Then we had the older brother getting upset when it was the little fella's birthday - how come he was getting lots of presents and he wasn't getting any? We explained, we wiped away the tears, we explained again, but his slightly bigger voice still insisted, 'It's not fair'.
And finally, we had the incident of the Spiderman costume - you know, the one with the bulging muscles? My eldest - who recently turned 5 - has, for years, been beating himself into a Spiderman costume which is for 2-3 year olds. He ran upstairs to put it on the other day, only to return back to the kitchen a few minutes later, clearly not dressed up as Spiderman. "It doesn't fit," he wailed, sobbing into my shoulder. "I'm too big." This, from a boy, who has spent most of his talking life telling us he wants to be big. I cuddled him and although I felt sad for him, couldn't help smiling at the irony of it all. Daddy somehow resisted the urge to pat him on the back and say 'You're growing up son. Soon you'll be a real man like your Daddy."
And then it was my turn. Yesterday, the 5 year old was busily drawing a picture for his Daddy's birthday. He told me he was drawing a picture of our family. It was very cute (see below).
"Tell me who everybody is love," I said.
"That's Daddy. That's me and that's Sam."
"Oh. And where is mummy?"
"There wasn't room for you mummy."
Tough lessons indeed.