Friday, July 29, 2011

The Little Brother

There are so many ways that Josh is clearly "the little brother," but none more so to me than in the time he already spends tagging along and waiting on the sidelines. I'm constantly thankful that Josh gets quality, age appropriate activities in his 3 days at Bloom School because his days home are decidedly geared toward the 4-year-old set.

For example, when Owen was 18 months old, he was regularly doing parent-tot swim lessons. This winter, we signed Josh up for the same class, but he first had to spend an hour waiting by the side of the pool for Owen's lessons. By the time it was Josh's turn for class, he was tired, cranky, and SO DONE with the pool that we never made it through a whole lesson. Fail.

From the moment I could get out of the house, Josh has been tagging along to our weekly playgroup. When Owen was little, Shannon set up a weekly play time with purposeful, exploration activities for the under-2-year-olds. Now, Josh just tags along on our field trips, hikes, and environmental ed lessons that are clearly structured for bigger kids. We do our best to let Josh participate in the activities (and he gets a kick out of running around as if he's playing the same games as the big kids), but I'm acutely aware that nothing we do is really FOR HIM.

This winter, he waited through weekly gymnastics (Josh climbed up and down stairs and ate copious amounts of Annie's Bunnies to pass the time), and he is spending the summer on the sidelines of swim lessons and soccer. Of course, Josh doesn't know any different, but I just can't help but observe how he is so obviously the little brother. Before Owen's soccer class, there's a class for younger kids (and parents). It's a whole class for kids Josh's age, and I never once even THOUGHT of looking into classes for him. Instead, we bring our own mini soccer ball for Josh to putter around with during Owen's class. Or, on the weeks we forget, he finds a way to entertain himself... like playing throw and fetch for a half hour with an empty Pepsi bottle. Poor second child!

I'm pretty sure watching the big kids will actually pay off in the end. Josh gets exposure to so much more than Owen did at that age. And I'm guessing he'll be more than ready to tear it up when he turns 3 and can start taking some of the big kid classes on his own. Right?


Colleen said...

It will all pay off! And Josh probably doesn't even see himself as the little brother, so he wouldn't want to be doing those baby things anyway. I know all four of the younger boys, with maybe the exception of Luke, are eager to be just like the big boys. It's not like you've holed up, it's just different activities!

Katie said...

I feel the very same way about Walker - he tags along and sits on the sidelines for everything too. I often feel that I don't do anything geared to his age but that he is doing things geared for Molly Kate's age. But I do feel that he is benefiting from having an older sibling and his turn will come!! Walker is my more adventurous child by nature and does things so much earlier than his big sis so I have to think that he is going to be just fine when it is his turn! I think Josh will be just fine too! He has an awesome big brother to look up to!