I took this picture of my smiley little girl in her daddy's Patriot's hat today, celebrating the Pat's first pre-season game. I look at this picture and honestly feel a little sad. I don't get to spend as much time with Bean these days. I feel like she's not getting the love she deserves. My heart is certainly big enough to love both of my babies, but I physically can't give her as much time as I used to. And sometimes even when I do have time, I'm so exhausted from waking up all night with the baby that I have to turn on the TV to tune us both out. Sometimes I'm short with her because, in my sleep deprived state, I don't have the patience for her three year old ways.
I know it will get better as the baby gets bigger and less reliant on me for everything. And I know that it's good for her in the long run, so that she doesn't grow up thinking she's the center of the universe and she has a sibling to share her life with. A sibling who has a similar adoption story so they have each other when they need to work through their own stories. I'm also sure my mom gave me less attention when my sister was born, but I don't remember being angry about it and certainly never questioned my mom's love for me because she had to spend a little extra time with my sister when I was two years old. I know that a mommy's love is more than just sitting on the floor playing dolls.
But the fact is that I miss her. We had gotten to a point where we were doing more together because she had started to like and be fully capable of doing more of things I like to do. It's hard to play for hours outside, go to the beach, go to museums, paint, draw, or read when you have a wiggly baby in your arms with an attention span of about ten minutes. I can't give Bean more than a baby nap's length of full attention right now. And we're stuck inside more because the baby can't handle the heat or bright sunlight, can't swim, can't play on playgrounds. It's no surprise to me that sometimes Bean gets annoyed when people oogle over her being a big sister. Right now to her being a big sister is a constant disruption. It means waiting and waiting while mommy changes the baby's diaper or feeds him. It means sharing mommy with someone else, all the time. She'll get it later, but for now she usually tells people that she just wants to be called Emma, and not "the big sister."
I love my baby girl's beautiful smile and her bubbly personality, even if it does make me more tired than I've ever been trying to keep up with her while taking care of Cookie. I have to remember - like the old saying goes about raising kids - the days are long and the years are short. Someday soon we'll get to do our things together again. And even though it doesn't seem like it now, I'm pretty sure she'll like having a brother around for all the fun things we'll get to do together. Other than manicures and pedicures, and shopping, and girlie things. Those will be mine and hers alone. As Bean says, "No Boys Allowed." Just me and my little girl who I miss right now.