Little Cakes adores her big sister. She idolizes Bee, and follows her everywhere, and wants to do everything that she does. At church a few weeks ago, my husband and I were working in the toddler room, and the little kids were eating snack and talking about their best friends. Cakes piped up, in her tiny little voice, “My best friend is my Sissie!”
We just melted into a puddle. It was that cute.
This week has been tough for Cakes.
Bee gets to go to swimming lessons, but Cakes does not. She has to stay with boring old Mommy and play on the swings. This doesn’t make her happy.
She’s tired of hearing that she’s too little for this, and too little for that. Last night she wanted to play outside with Bee and some of her friends, but she was already bathed and in her PJs, and it was her bedtime. She stood at the window and cried.
This afternoon, Bee is going to play with Cole, who was her best preschool friend.
Last year he moved away, and Bee was heartbroken. He’s back in town for a week, visiting his grandparents, so we arranged for them to have a play date at his grandma’s house. Just the two of them. Without Cakes. As far as Cakes is concerned, this is the last straw.
In an attempt to make Cakes feel better, I told her that we could do something fun together, just the two of us. She wasn’t impressed.
It breaks my heart, because I know she wants to be included, and she’s feeling left out. To be honest, I’ve always told my husband that Cakes is the “forgotten child.” When Bee was born, there were presents, and excitement, and fanfare, and tons of visits from friends and relatives. By the time Cakes was born, the baby novelty had pretty much worn off. Also, Cakes had a neck injury from the birth process, and so she was often fussy and cranky until we figured out what was wrong and had it corrected. She didn’t have Bee’s easygoing disposition, and so she didn’t endear herself to people as quickly. Sometimes it saddens me to see how easily she’s overlooked. At the July 4th parade, people were throwing candy from floats, and others were walking along, giving candy and other trinkets to local kids. A woman walked up to Bee and handed her a piece of candy and a flyer. “Here sweetie. This is for you,” she said graciously. Cakes was standing right next to Bee, but the woman completely ignored her and walked off.
I find that I overcompensate now, trying to make sure that I, at least, treat my daughters equally. I also try really hard to make up for those who pass Cakes over like yesterday’s news. It’s a full-time job, and I wonder how I’ll keep it up when I have three children, and poor Cakes is stuck in the dreaded “middle child” slot.