So, this week Mommy had her baby shower for Little Man’s soon to be arriving little sister and while we aren’t terribly sure what Jack thinks about all of this baby business, he has been dropping hints here and there. For example, Jack seems to understand that Mommy has a baby in her tummy. While he knows the sign for “baby”, which is making a rocking motion with one’s arms, whenever someone mentions a baby, he points to his tummy. I’m thinking this is due in large part to me pointing to my ever growing tummy when I talk about the baby.
One of the big suggestions all of the experts give is that expectant parents should encourage the older sibling to feel the baby move inside of Mommy’s tummy. Perhaps these experts are used to children with a higher threshold for patience because unless Lil Miss is moving at the exact moment that Jack is touching my tummy, he has no desire to leave his hand there when there are more pressing matters at hand, like taking a sip of juice. However, Little Man has felt the baby move and even responded to her little kicks and bumps. These moments usually occur when Jack is sitting in Mommy’s lap and we’re cuddling or reading a book. The occasional jab with hit Jack square in the back or the side and he’ll turn to look at my tummy. After a few of these jabs, Jack has even been known to push back, albeit gently.
Occasionally, as a family at the end of the day before bath and bed, we’ll hang out in Lil Miss’ room. It’s fully decked out with all of the appropriate furnishings and accessories. While in this room, we talk about Jack becoming a big brother and talk to him about where the baby will go when she is out of Mommy’s tummy. We also use this time to introduce a toy baby for Jack to handle. This is another big suggestion, giving the soon to be sibling a baby doll to practice with. This suggestion offers a positive experience, but also gives Mommy and Daddy a little bit of terrifying insight into the myriad of possibilities of things that Jack could do to his little sister. While Jack has the ability to super sweet and gentle with the little baby that he helped Mommy swaddle, he would also, on occasion, run off to the other room with her or attempt to snatch her out of Mommy’s hands. Fortunately, Little Man helps to offset too many worries with other moments where he gently places her in bed and tucks her in or cradles her softly and gives her kisses.
Mommy and Daddy are certain that Jack will be an amazing big brother. He has a huge heart and has been sharing with others long before that was something he was even supposed to know how to do developmentally. He’s always offering to help and at the ready to kiss boo-boos and give loves. Mommy and Daddy are also fully aware that Little Man doesn’t take to change very well, but we’re hopeful that since he seems to be emerging from his terrible twos without too many battle scars, this change won’t be one wrought with too many difficulties. The most important thing for Mommy and Daddy and that Little Man know that we love him more than words and no matter who else becomes a member of our loving family, that fact will never, ever change.