Friday, July 18, 2008

On Tuesday morning Emmylou and I babysat for my friend Meghan's 4 month old son, Cole. I figured it would be good practice for us since we'll have a baby boy of our own in a little more than six weeks. Emmylou was great for most of the time, except that whenever he was fussy and I picked him up she'd point at him and say "No! My mommy!" Also, by the end of the two hours that we had him, she had picked up this playmat and relocated it to her bedroom so he couldn't use it. So jealous!

Playing together nicely...

And a little too big for the playmat (but it is still "mine!")...


The Gould Family said...

Do you want the horror stories of an incredibly jealous older sibling now or post baby? Hearing them now gives you more time to prepare.

I was extremely jealous when my brother was born and I can sight a couple of specific examples why.

1. My parent's didn't give me any "ownership." I think it would have helped to think of him as "my baby."

2. My brother was born when my family lived overseas. I remember everyone in my family coming to visit, "just" because he was born. An integrated event would have helped, IE. Celebrate sibling B's birth and sibling A's ability to draw a dog!

I, of course, don't have two kids, I'm just bringing demons out of my own closet.

My bro and I are totally cool now though. Took 24ish years.

One tip, don't let E push the stroller if you're next to a ditch.

emmylou said...

Good tips, Bethany! I've also heard Alex and Andrew's horror stories so I can't say I'm not nervous... Thank god Emmylou's only two and can't devise complex murder plots just yet.

Since one of the main reasons we're having a second baby is for Emmylou to learn the valuable lesson that the world does not revolve solely around her, I guess on the other hand, I also need to focus on helping her own the situation like you suggest to alleviate jealousy. I think it takes walking a very fine line.

We had some friends whose baby shower for their second baby was nothing more than a 'big brother' party for their first kid and from our perspective it just made the occasion look like it was still ALL ABOUT THE OLDER KID. Shouldn't he start getting used to the idea that the new baby deserves its own attention (and party) as well? We were thinking it was probably not very helpful in making the transition easier but you're making me think about it differently now. I guess what you suggest is celebrating BOTH children at the same time and that sounds like a better solution to me.

We've definitely been talking to Emmylou about "our baby" or "her baby" and I've tried to explain that I'll also be her brother's mommy too and that I'll have to take lots of time to take care of him. She seems eager to help so I'm hoping that'll last longer than the two hours we spent babysitting Cole the other day...

I'm also preparing myself for the week or two that she's going to hate me for bringing home a baby that isn't going to go away.

Well, like you said, at least I can count on the fact that Emmylou and her brother should be reconciled in "24ish" years. Hopefully it'll be a little quicker than that. :-)

And I'll remember your tip about the stroller and ditches... thanks.

Btw, Bethany, how old were you when your brother was born?

The Gould Family said...

I was a sage 23 months when he was born.

Yeah, I'm a total hypocrite. If I went to shower like that, I would think the same thing you did.

I've heard through the grapevine that E is a very sweet-natured child. I'm sure she's going to be an awesome older sister.

That being said, my other tip (once again, hypocrite for giving "advice") is to show her how to properly do mommy duties and take care of the baby.

I say this, because she's going to want to help and if you don't show her how to do it the right way, you may end up with a two week old baby who has a mouth full of PB&J sandwich.

The other way I acted out (that gets retold over and over) is that I would use the phone to call (the military equivalent of) 911 and I would ask them to come and pick up my brother. Apparently I did this on a frequent enough basis that they knew me pretty well.

BTW, I hope these stories aren’t freaking you out. I’m of the school of thought that more info is better than not enough. I’m sure that I was also on the “more expressive” edge of sibling torture.