Bringing Home Baby . . . #2

Want to blow your kid’s world away?

Bring home a sibling.

Nothing changes the family dynamics like a new little brother or sister.  And everyone has heard the horror stories of the older sibling who now hates mommy and daddy because of that thing.  A friend of mine told me her son didn’t speak to her for three days.  When my baby brother was born, my grandma refused to tell me it was a boy in fear that I would turn my wrath towards her.  (I just refused to learn his name for six months or so.)  As we neared d-day of Tornado S, The Husband and I worried what Tornado E would do and tried to prepare.

First off, Tornado E was just under two.  Do you know that two-year-olds don’t have a very good grasp of gentle?  My first attempt of paving the way to a non-only-child-household was to buy Tornado E a baby doll to teach him gentle.  Tornado E loved Bobby and readily practiced gentle.

Second, I bought a Big Brother Gift.  Some experts say to have the gift be from the new baby; other experts say that your elder child(ren) will know a baby didn’t buy the gift so don’t insult the child(ren) with a lie.  Seeing The Husband has a hard enough time letting Santa have all the glory, we just had the gift come from us.

Third, I stalk piled small gifts for Tornado E just in case people brought only gifts for the baby.  Yeah, let’s start out an already rocky relationship with jealousy.  Lucky for us, we didn’t need one of those gifts because our friends were so generous with Tornado E.  The baby just got clothes; Tornado E got toys.  Sweet.  (I kept the gifts for birthday and Christmas.)

Fourth, we added Daddy time.  The Husband now made it a point to take Tornado E to the park or some small adventure every week, starting during the last trimester.  Tornado E was over the moon to go with just daddy.

Fifth, we made it a point to never say Tornado E couldn’t do something (like scream in the house during baby’s naptime) because of the baby.

Sixth, my mom came out for three weeks to help with the adjustment of Tornado S.  She came in the day Tornado S was born, staying the night with Tornado E, making it a special treat.  She let him help her decorate the house for the baby’s homecoming.  She let him pick out flowers for mommy and a gift for the baby.  She spent tons of time with him during those three weeks.

I’m not sure how we managed it really, but I waited for the other shoe to drop for months, waiting for Tornado E to start hating the baby, start hating me, start being angry and resentful.  But it never happened.  He adored Tornado S.  The birth announcements were a picture of Tornado E holding Tornado S, beaming with pride.  Tornado E didn’t begrudge Tornado S any time, any toy, any baby thing.

One day as I sat nursing Tornado S, Tornado E climbed on the couch next to me with Bobby.  He pulled up his shirt, cradled Bobby in his arms, and started nursing Bobby.  Yup, just like Mommy.  I turned to my mom.

Me: Um, what do you think?

My Mom: (Trying not to laugh too hard) We should get him a baby doll bottle.

Me: Especially before The Husband sees this.

Now we can only hope that bringing home baby #3 will be just as easy.

10 Responses to “Bringing Home Baby . . . #2”

  1. Maureen@IslandRoar Says:

    Aw, I love this story. Both my older son and daughter did their share of “breastfeeding.” Tho my son isn’t crazy about being reminded of this now at 22. Maybe when he’s a dad one day.
    You did a lot of wonderful things to help ease the baby’s arrival. How lucky your mom could come for a nice stretch like that!

  2. Jane Says:

    You are such an awesome mom! My idol! Bringing home #3 is going to be a breeze with such great strategies already tried and true! You are amazing!

  3. unabridgedgirl Says:

    Wow! Those are terrific ideas. I’ll have to keep them in mind for one day.

  4. joz1234 Says:

    We did similar things, but I admit I didnt’ think to stockpile Bert gifts when Ernie came. I should have…we only had one good friend who thought of Bert. (oh yes, and grandparents). Like you, my mominlaw came and helped out so much. She didn’t stay as long as when Bert was born, but she stayed for at least a week or so.

    The third one I think will be easier, as long as Evan doesn’t tell Sean how “awful” it’s gonna be before baby brother gets here. 🙂

  5. Fie upon this quiet life Says:

    I feel like we really screwed up bringing home the baby. But it’s because eldest is always sick during cold/flu season, and I didn’t want the baby to get sick, so I kept them apart a lot. Baby got sick anyway and nearly died. But now eldest just avoids the baby and wants nothing to do with him. Makes me sad. We wanted another baby so eldest would have a friend, but it will be harder to make that a reality than I thought. Sigh.

  6. faemom Says:

    Maureen~ Yeah, my mom rocks.
    Jane~ We’ll see. Sean is much more a mama’s boy than Evan.
    unabridgedgirl~ Use if you can remember them 😉
    joz~ Someone (Maybe my mom) told me to do the gift stockpile. But I was overwhelmed by how many people remembered Evan, but they were all older siblings. Evan is super excited, though he still wants that baby sister.
    FUTQL~ Don’t be so hard on yourself. There’s not much a kid can do with a baby, so you’ll have to wait for a couple of months to see them interact. Besides, they aren’t going to be friends their whole lives; they’re bound to hate each other for a few years first. 😉

  7. ck Says:

    Crap. I never thought to tell my daughter not to do things “because of her sister.”

    …that explains a lot.

    (PS: Good luck bringing home #3! I’m sure he’ll be adored.)

  8. joz1234 Says:

    yes, mine have both informed me that they want a baby sister too. Bert even calls it “she.” We’ll see if they are disappointed.

  9. Rakster Says:

    loved this post. I’ll bookmark for when the time (hopefully) comes one day and we go through this too.

    🙂 and I’d love to see him continue to ‘feed’ the baby doll. That is adorable.

  10. faemom Says:

    ck~ More advice from my mom. She’s sure that why I learned to hate my brother, but I’ll maintain he was a jerk.
    joz~ The good news is all my friends have girls to balance out the boys I have. 😉
    Rakster~ I’ll keep my fingers crossed. And there’s only so much gender bending a father can handle.

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