Yesterday I had just Wy and Rory in the car on an afternoon ride home (about 15 minutes) and, unusually, Wyatt fell asleep. Usually it is the other way around.
And Rory began to chatter. She told me a little about her day (Avaâ€”I thinkâ€”lost a tooth!). She had some commentary to offer on the snow (lots) and the day (warmer than usual) and our plans (can we go to the grocery store and buy … um … um … me: Popsicles? Yes!) and Daddy (home later) and babies (how do you make those again?) and even on the need to make a baby to have a kid (our babysitter just had a baby).
We even touched on her having a “birth mother” (often subject to some confusion around our house, because of her having a foster mother she remembers very clearly and who we know)â€”briefly, because Rory doesn’t like to be too introspective about China. And we got home, and all was as merry as can be, in spite of my having lost patience with her at the end of ice skating and her holding a grudge over a small incident with her coat that’s too dull and complex to explain here. Wyatt woke up (was I asleep? Where’s Sam? We dropped him off?) and the rest of the day was smooth.
And I realized I almost never get to have a conversation with just Rory. Wyatt interprets for her a lot, and gets his words out quicker, so that in any three way conversation he dominates. Rory contributes, but less, and subjects are usually chosen by her siblings. And just because of the circumstances of their lives–same school, same activities (by choice) and relatively few playdatesâ€”they tend to be with me at the same time. I make efforts to do bonding things with Rory (and just Wyatt too), but they don’t necessarily involve talking. Books, puzzles, cooking, stuff like that. And even if we go get a snack together or something like that, it’s harder, I think, to talk when it’s obvious you SHOULD be talking. And Rory doesn’t like being asked questions–as in, how was your day, what did you have for snack, who did you sit by. She likes to lead, and she just doesn’t get that many chances.
I think more one on one activities are in order, probably for everyone (I’m spending two nights with just Sam at a hockey tournament, so he’s pretty taken care of for a while). I used to be very good at having a specific time every week when all the other kids were at an activity and just one was home with me, but as there are more of them and they spend more time at school, that’s become a challenge. Anyone have any brilliant ideas for finding a way to just be together and, hopefully, talk?