Something’s up…December 8, 2009 at 6:57 am | Posted in little bug | 3 Comments
Tags: new baby anxiety, older sibling new baby
Little Buggy knows that something’s up. Normally on weekends she is Daddy’s girl. Only Daddy can read a story, change the diapers, put her down for a nap. She follows him everywhere: out in the yard to rake, into the shower, around the kitchen. If Tim says, “I’m going to run to Home Depot,” she’ll say, “I go to Home Depot.”
Lately, however, she is all about me. She is a decidedly un-clingy, un-cuddly toddler, but even as I write this she is lying with her head up against my shoulder. She wants me to carry her up the stairs (do you know how difficult that is getting?), sit on the couch and read, and put her to bed. Instead of Tim, it’s now, “How ’bout Mommy change my dipe?” Or even, “No! Mommy do it” — whatever “it” happens to be.
Tim was actually somewhat despondent this weekend about her shifted parental preferences. “Can you call your mom and ask her if you were like this before Jen was born?” he asked me. So I did, and of course my mother replied that I had been. Her pediatrician at the time told her that, even though I was younger then than Buggy is now, children just subconsciously know that something is different, that something is about to change.
And how could she not? I certainly look different. She doesn’t fit on my lap the same; I really can’t pick her up and carry her around anymore, not so much because of her size but because there’s no room on my hip. And we have been referring to her baby brother. Her “old” room has been painted light blue and is now “baby brother’s room” (she’s fine with that, though — she loves her new pink-and-green big-girl room). Or we’ll say, “When baby brother comes…” this or that. She seems happy about it (I think? Hope?). She wants to see baby brother’s little pajamas and says, “When baby brother comes, I’m going to feed him, and rock him…”
Still, obviously she’s anxious. Something’s going to happen and she has a vague idea of what, maybe. But to a two-and-a-half-year old, what does “you’re getting a baby brother” mean? She just knows this change has to do with Mommy, so she’s not leaving my side.
I had a nice email exchange just yesterday with a college classmate/friend whose blog I read often. She wrote: “… yes, it does change when you have two instead of one, so do make the most of this time (no pressure!) if you can. You’ll never just have her again. At the same time, after about a week, you immediately won’t be able to remember what it felt like to only have one child. And you are going to wonder how in the world you could have thought one child was hard. It’s so funny.”
So when Little Bug came padding into our room at 3:30 a.m., soaking wet (as were all her sheets), I recalled my friend’s advice even as I fretted about another lost night of sleep during a very busy week. I changed her pajamas, threw the sheets in the wash, and offered to let her sleep in “her” crib for the rest of the night. “No!” she said, “that’s baby brother’s crib!” (I guess our indoctrination has been successful.) The only other option was our bed. Where Little Buggy and I lay mostly silent but also mostly awake for the next two hours, and I tried to think of it as quality time, even as her elbows dug into my back, or, when I flipped over, her smelly elephant was stuffed in my face. Just as I was hoping we were both drifting off, she reached over and kind of patted/stroked my hair, the sweetest gesture imaginable.
It’s 6 a.m. now, and I have given up on sleep. Dora is on the DVR, but her head is still on my shoulder, and, for eight more short weeks, she’s still my one and only.