Ever since #10 joined our club, I have had a little trouble with some of our members. Well, really only two, #8 and #9. It is not that they dislike their little sister or resent their mother. It is a problem of space. They cannot occupy the same space at the same time, despite how hard they push each other.
Several times, I have been sitting in my chair and #8 wanted to crawl up into my lap. So here he came, scrambling up like a two day old pup. He settled in with a great deal of elbows, sitting as contented as a lizard in the sun. And once he was comfortable, #9 saw him in my lap. He ran from the other side of the room to hop at my knee like a joey kangaroo. I pulled #9 up as well, my lap was big enough… or so I thought.
When #9 was atop my other knee, he altered his position. Placing his back against my resting arm, he set both feet on #8’s back and pushed. #8 popped off my lap like a champagne cork. He landed at my feet, and collapsed into a heap.
I turned #9 around and scolded him, of course. I could not let that kind of behavior go without my rebuke. And now I had two crying children to contend with.
You see, before, I would have sent one of the boys over to their mother. But, with the new baby, she has run out of arms, and leaning against her knee just is not the same. That is why they naturally gravitate to me when I am home. They want to be held, and I can handle both in my chair, but they need to get along with each other.
And that was how I found myself in a tug-of-war between #8 and #9.
I would like to say that my firm discipline stopped all the hostile behavior as written above. I would like to say that my strong arm set our little boy on the right path. I would like to say that I only had to set #9 straight once. I would like to say that, I really would like to say that. But #9 does not want to share me, and #8 is unwilling to let go. We have had repeated episodes like this one over the last few months.
So, I sat in my chair with a little boy curled into each arm, both feeling sorry for themselves and both wishing they had both of my arms around them. It is hard when your entire world runs out of arms to hold you with.