Wednesday, May 31, 2006

The Good Child and Birth Order

Sometimes I wonder what kind of a child Benjamin would be if he were an only child... instead of stuck in the middle. He thrives on attention, but doesn't quite know what to do to get it. Of course, he is most often sandwiched between Annika, who is so verbal and charming, and Christopher who is still so cuddly-cute, that it his hard for Benjamin to stand out.

In May, Benjamin got to travel with us BY HIMSELF to Texas for a week, in part to give him some special attention, and in part to ease the babysitting load back at home. He was still a bit difficult, as four-year-old boys are apt to be on long international flights... but what a difference! He pulled his own bag, sat calmly on the three flights, and didn't complain once when our third and final leg of the trip was canceled due to weather and mechanical problems at 11pm, which was really 7am his time, after being on the go for nearly 24 hours. When we were being issued our hotel accomodations and vouchers, the comments swirled around - "He's so cute!", "What a good boy!", "What a little trooper!", "What a great little traveller you have!" - all the comments that are usually directed at his siblings.

When we were at the hotel, it was so easy! He has always been a good sleeper, and he went to bed every night without complaint.

His view of the experience? Difficult to tell. I think he liked the one-on-one time, and enjoyed the extra attention. However, he missed the other kids, and found it a bit boring to be with the adults all the time.

As parents, we really enjoyed the opportunity to be one-on-one, and will have to try to create more opportunities as the children get older.

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