Ashlyn was 4.5 years old when we went from 3 to Shea party of 4. Meaning she had plenty of time to get good and spoiled. So, when her little brother entered the picture, she endured a humbling transition phase as he required a lot of extra attention.
Many times when Dylan was a baby, we would have to leave places early if he needed a break from the action (at times he gets overstimulated and fussy). If it’s super loud, we out! Which meant Ashlyn had to roll with the punches. Although, I could sense she wanted to scream ‘Not fair!’ (Thankfully Dylan’s tolerance of noise and being agitated by over stimulation has much improved with age).
This is not to say that Ashlyn doesn’t still get spoiled. I think sometimes we overindulge her because we have felt guilty for the times she has had to miss or leave parties abruptly. Or when we’ve had to wake her up in the middle of the night to rush to the ER because Dylan was sick. Not to mention the multiple therapists coming in and out of our home.
Having a sibling with that extra dose of awesome has required Ash to grow up a little faster than her peers, but despite her ever-decreasing spotlight, she’s never resented him. She’s just loved him harder.
Soon after Dylan was born, we started having one-on-one dates with Ashlyn. Ash is now 12 and we still plan that alone time. With Daddy, it’s dinner at her favorite restaurant. With me, it’s girl talk & ice cream. Of course, now that she is a tween, we have added concerts and mini trips to nearby cities.
Recently, Ash and I went to New York City, her first trip to the Big Apple. It was wonderful…the time with her exploring the city, our walk in Central Park, the bright lights in Times Square. Staying up late at the hotel and giggling about all she had witnessed during our days. Oh, and she nicknamed me Mama Rita after my cocktail during a lunch date in NYC. Hey, don’t judge me you motherlucker, I wasn’t driving! (Rosa Mexicana at Lincoln Center, best pomegranate margaritas EVER. You are welcome)
Calendars are full and days are hectic for us. And tweens and their social schedules, oh my! Even if you can only steal away for an hour for a unicorn frap or whatever, these moments are precious. Point is, Ashlyn cannot recall what she got for Christmas last year. But if you ask her about her “dates.” she remembers all of it.
TIP: Don’t waste a lot of money on gadgets and what nots. Spoil your kids with time and love!