A 4 year-old boy, whose name on the blog will be “Kabooyah,” has joined our family on a “short term” basis. He’s been with us for a handful of days so far, and I gotta say, this is a steep learning curve. He is a sweet, loving boy, who loves cuddles, playing, drawing and putting together puzzles. Bedtime with him is a breeze, and he seems to be okay with having Todd and I be his caregiver for the time-being.

Now the steep part:
We have to suddenly be more organized in how we run the household. MUST’s include actual meal planning beyond glancing in the fridge at quarter past 5; doing a load of laundry from start to finish every day; doing dishes every evening after bedtime. These may all be things you already do — we sometimes did them, and sometimes let things slide and would play catch up the next day because there would be time for that.

Now the steeper part:
S has been an only child for over 5 years. As far as we know, Kabooyah is also an only child. There have been countless arguments, needling, trouble with sharing, and hurt feelings on both sides…since K arrived. There have also been twice the giggles, epic games of hide-and-seek, and a whole lot of fun. But helping these two boys navigate this new relationship has me at times feeling more like a referee than a mom. Who knows if this is the way a lot of natural siblings act toward each other? Or if circumstances or personalities (or, give them a break, Betsy — it’s been 5 days!) are making it so tough? Anyway, I have a newly-heightened respect for all of you folks parenting more than one child. I’ll be praying for harmony at your house, as hopefully you can pray for harmony at ours.

About that “short term”: it seems to be a flexible term. If, say, a relative asks that K come stay with them, he could be moved tomorrow. Or he could stay with us until his parents are able to take care of him again, which could be six months or longer…