Most of the time HR (almost 3) lives the best of both worlds, half of the time he is the youngest of three and half the time he is an only child. Yes, there are many days he misses his siblings and we also have MANY jealous moments when they are home and Mommy isn’t just his anymore. For the most part he deals with this very well, that is until his first Christmas that he actually got the whole presents thing.
Holidays are always a very tricky time for split families. I know my first few Christmases without my older two were emotionally very hard and I know their father has had the same feelings when vice versa. It actually took a couple of co-parenting plans to finally get one that not only worked for us but more importantly was best for the children. As it stands we split the school vacation and holidays. One of us has from 10am on the 24th until noon on the 28th and the other has the 28th until the children return to school after the new year. Then the next year we switch so every other year the children are either home for Christmas or they are home for HR’s birthday and New Years. The only real complicated part now is that Santa has always gone to both houses and we just celebrate when the kids get home which has never been a problem until this year which is quickly becoming a learning experience.
HR’s first Christmas we just pushed it off until they came home. He was so young he didn’t know what was going on. Last year they were with us so no biggie there but this year is setting the precedence going forward. We can’t just push it off every time the older two aren’t home, that is unfair to HR and as he gets older how is he (or we) expected to explain that. So this year Christmas went off as planned for HR with us telling him we will celebrate again when Lilla and AJ get home and that their presents are in Mommy and Daddy’s room until then. I had so many hopes of this working but of course I forgot about his age when trying to nicely set up the presents for them to see when they come home.
I had explained to him for a good 15 minutes this morning how he already opened his and these were Lilla and AJ’s. Like any typical (almost) three year old that was not acceptable but he was keeping his hands off… until I needed to go to the bathroom. I heard a noise, I assumed he was just breaking into his own presents that I purposely left by the tree in his bag from Santa. Well, I was wrong. I came out to this face tearing through his brother and sisters presents!
So now the presents are re-wrapped after being given a lecture from said (almost) three year old on how they are his not theirs and they are all back up in my room until it’s time for the older two to open them.