Friday, April 15, 2011

Sibling Rivalry

So far, Carter seems to be vaguely aware that he is going to be a big brother. As the months roll by, I plan to reinforce the concept with books, videos, a babydoll, what-have-you, but right now I am content with just casually mentioning the baby in mommy's tummy occasionally. I don't really want to bonk him over the head with "MOMMY'S HAVING A BABYYYYYYY!" just yet.

An acquaintance of ours has two boys about two-and-a-half years apart, and her pediatrician suggested that she not even mention the new addition until a few months prior to her due date. At that point, she asked "Hey - do you think you want a little brother?" Her son nodded. Every so often after that she'd ask the same thing, and he would once again reply with an affirmative, until voila! Baby came home. Basically, her ped didn't think she should make a big deal of it too soon - something about build-up and anxiety and yadda yadda. Maybe I stopped listening after that point - oops (this conversation was had months ago, pre-pregnancy, or I would have paid better attention...probably).

Throughout my first trimester, the Roo was ultra-clingy - all Mommy, all the time. However, as I cruised into trimester two the tides changed. First he attended my 12-week ultrasound, and was alarmed at Mommy lying on her back while the small figure gyrated on the little screen. Then, only days later, I finally weaned him at 18 months - a process that I thought would be much harder than it ultimately was. One night I just explained that Mommy's boobies didn't have milk anymore, and the next day he stopped asking to nurse, just like that. But with nursing went our nightly cuddle time - suddenly he just wanted to go to sleep on his own like a big boy, with no need for Mommy's snuggles and singing. Then my husband started getting up with him bright & early at 6 a.m to give me another half-hour of much-needed rest.

All of these changes combined to create some serious crankiness in the Little Roo, directly squarely at Mommy. He had determined exactly who was responsible and oh yes, she shall be PUNISHED. Thus, the hitting and time-outs began. The heartbreaking "No Mommy! DADDY!" at bedtime.

For weeks, I was chopped liver. And then suddenly, just as quickly as before, things shifted again. For the past several weeks, Mommy is a good guy again. Mommy makes Carter laugh, Mommy kisses the boo-boos, Mommy plays the best games. Basically, Mommy is somehow a rockstar again. I'm not entirely sure why, but I'm going with it.

Is this what I have to look forward to for the next 20 weeks (yeehah - halfway there!)? Oy.


Katherine said...

I have heard people say that kids sense the changes in us, whether or not we talk about our pregnancies. There's just a new vibe in the air. I think that siblings are going to fight at some point in their childhood, despite our best efforts -- a whole OTHER subsection of parenting books, eh?

Don't worry, Carter will love his brother! 2 years or 2 and a half, whatever.

Sara said...

Carter is going to rock the big brother gig, for sure. Plus, more babies make everything better!