Paige is my quality time kid. She needs my attention, one-on-one, regularly. We first realized her love language after a trip to Disney World when she was three. As we walked to the van, we asked her what her favorite part of the day had been. After listing off nearly every single highlight of the Magic Kingdom, only have her shake her head no, she finally spilled the beans. Her favorite part. Just being with us. She couldn't have spelled it out any clearer. Our time with her matters. Our attention feeds her security.
I should have known. A year earlier, when her little sister entered the picture, she did her best to make her needs known. I can not tell you how many times Brooklyn was punched in the head while trying to nurse. (Which may explain a few things about our flighty redhead, but that's another post.) Even after the initial jealousy subsided, Paige still struggled to share my attention. Every time Brooklyn hit a new milestone, Paige acted out. If she didn't get her way in the mall she would grab everything within arms reach of her stroller and throw it at me. If we put her in her room for time out, she would empty her dresser and pull every hanger out of the closet creating a heap of clothing in the middle of the room. I often kid that Paige would have been a perfect only child. Many of her struggles stem from her need to be focused on. God knew that she needed siblings to refine that in her.
I have said before that Paige has matured greatly in the past year. Her pleas for attention have become less extreme. We are no longer dragging her screaming into school or buckling her into a carseat just to keep her in time out. She is writing her feelings out. No matter how ugly. She still yells and stomps and makes poor choices, but she is editing herself. With her maturity, I have lost sight of her need for my attention. Isn't that how it is? When the struggle subsides we relax. The things that used to top our priority list fall a bit and we lose focus. This morning Paige reminded me of her need for my attention. In a very subtle and comical way, she put herself back on my list. This was all it took.
Pegs, I heard you (and I laughed). Mommy date is on the calender.