As I was snuggling my (almost, not yet) four-year-old last night at bedtime, she grabbed my hand, held it and said, “I love you to the moon and back.”

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This child. How I adore her. And how horrible I felt realizing I have had so little one-on-one time with her recently. I recently went back to work full time, we’re selling our house and well, her little sister is quite demanding. Olivia is and always has been very independent. It’s wonderful, but it also makes it easier to just let her play alone because Audrey always wants to be engaged every moment of every single day (and night. Ahem.).

I find myself expecting Olivia to share her snacks, her drinks, her toys, her seat and because she almost always does whatever Audrey asks without hesitation, I get frustrated with her when she doesn’t! My sweet girl. Of course she wants to assert some boundaries. Who wouldn’t? I am an older sister. I know how this feels.

Last night in the tub, Audrey got soap in her eye and had a complete meltdown (because, hello, that shit hurts). The bath was cut short, which sucked for Liv because she adores tub time. She could lounge around in there “swimming” for ages. But, she got out without a fuss.

She even went so far as to drag her favorite little rocking chair (which weighs more than she does) into Audrey’s room because “I know it makes my baby happy and her eye is broken.”

I don’t have a favorite daughter. I cross-my-heart-and-hope-to-die do not. Audrey gets more attention because, as the saying goes, the squeaky wheel gets the grease. And boy HOWDY does that girl squeak.

But, I have to make a conscious effort to spend more quality time with my big girl. Last night, as we were laying there, instead of shushing her because we don’t want to wake her sister, I just let her chat. I just listened to her little voice, trying to tuck it deep into my memory because she won’t always be this way. She won’t always tell me sleepy stories about dragons and princesses named Yaya and Audrey who are rescued from a tower by King Daddy and how all of us, Mommy, Daddy, Yaya, Audrey and even Goldie are secretly superheroes. She won’t always throw up her teeny fist and shout, “Team Wright!” and stroke my forearm while her eyes flutter closed.

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She may not demand my time, but she deserves it. How do you find ways to make sure each of your children gets quality time with you?

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