For the past 9+ months I have been creating a brand new human being. It has been a beautiful and unique journey that I may write as another post. This here is about my new baby and his Lil’ Big sister (the middle child). My husband and I read about toddlers handling the arrival of an infant, and parents knowing how to pay particular attention in the ways the children need. We read many stories about jealousy manifesting itself in the toddler, and how important it is for said toddler to know she is still loved the same (even if the same love is afforded another person). Interestingly enough this same love is the only thing our 10 year old child (Big Sis) brought up when I told her I was pregnant with her little sister: “Now you’ll love someone else the same way you love me!”, she said unhappily. Of course now these two are inseparable, and I have been so curious to see how the new arrival would be handled. My tween daughter has her baby sister already. She loves her brother, but he is still a new baby who can’t really do anything yet. She can’t share earphones to listen to her iPod with him, can’t chase him around the house, or feed him snacks. My toddler is surprisingly, but understandably, loving her infant brother! She dotes over him, wants to “hug!” and “kiss!” him whenever she sees him, or wakes up from her naps. If she happens to be across the house watching a favorite show, or playing a favorite game (which is hard to get her to snap out of) and she hears the baby cry, she immediately leaves her activity and rushes to see him. Her face shows such concern at first, but when she reaches to caress his face she smiles at him & goes in for more kisses. She makes sure one of us adults is there to care for the baby, and then she may leave. She helps making sure he is getting milk when breast feeding, and when a stranger looks at the baby she reprimands him/her with a shaking finger and a stern “No!” It’s quite funny, cute, and lovable! Lil’ Big has also been very protective of Big Sis since….well, we have seen her protectiveness since we have been able to understand what her protests meant. If Big Sis got in trouble, Lil’ Big would walk up to me frowning, hit my leg while yelling in baby lingo, and back up facing me to see what was going to happen next. Hilarious, unacceptable, but hey…point taken! She has evolved from her violent protest to only verbal or even silent protesting with her tongue sticking out telling me to leave her sister alone. The difference, though, and the reason why I was so curious and kind of concerned, is that Big Sis and Lil’ Big have 11 years between them. The attention my oldest needs is somewhat different. She got the basics down, you know? Like how to fall asleep on her own. She doesn’t really come sit on my lap & rest on my chest, and the last time she breast fed was 11 years ago. Other than time spent, there isn’t much I could do to elicit a feeling of jealousy from Big Sis. Unless I start calling her younger siblings the nicknames I have called only her since her birth. I mentioned being surprised and understanding of Lil’ Big’s reaction to her baby brother. I am surprised because of the reading hubby & I have done. I do understand because Lil’ Big is a sensitive and discerning person. By the time her infant brother is old enough to want in on her toys and books, they hopefully will have a beautiful understanding that will make it so their relationship remains as it is now. Lil’ Big leans in to look at him often. She stares at him within an inch or two of his face. You can see wonder and happiness in her eyes. She holds his tiny head to give him yet another kiss then walks away bouncing her head left to right, looking like she just did the most awesome thing in the world! I share this to give expectant parents who already have toddler/s a bit of hope. Things can be greatly okay!
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Awww congrats to you and your beautiful family. What a precious picture. New baby bring joy for everyone. 🙂
Thank you, Maureen!!!