Today I had an experience that beautifully illustrated how it's impossible for me to meet all of my children's needs myself.
We were at my parents' house, and it was time to go home because S needed to take a nap. J asked if he could stay for a while, and T asked if he could stay, too. I said that it was okay with me if it was okay with Grandma and Grandpa, which it was. When J realized that T was going to stay, too, he got very upset. He wanted to stay by himself, without T. He cried, complaining that they (T and S) were always getting in his way, messing up the things that he wanted to do. I immediately understood how he felt. During the week, it's pretty much impossible for J to have any one-on-one time with me; unless S is napping, he and T are always around. J desperately needed to be the complete center of attention, and while I couldn't arrange that for him at our house, Grandma and Grandpa could.
I pulled T aside and explained that J was going to stay at Grandma and Grandpa's by himself today, and when J was in school, T would have his turn to stay by himself. Thankfully T didn't have a problem with this change of plans. He just wanted to be able to visit his favorite website when we got home.
It's hard, raising three boys so close in age. This - when one of the boys really needs some "special" time, J in particular, since he is in school five days a week now - is probably most challenging. I am incredibly fortunate and grateful that my parents live in town and are happy to give the boys the "special" time that I might not be able to give them.