My daughter is almost three and my son is nearly 8 weeks old, she adores him and luckily for us the novelty has not yet worn off. I’m not looking forward to the day it does (if it does). It’s hard enough keeping her our of mischief with him now, if she’s feeling resentful about his presence I dread to think.
Being so small she simply doesn’t get how fragile babies can be. She wants to show her love and get involved but sometimes it goes a bit, well wrong. Like rocking him so intensely in his rocker that any second he might bounce out and go flying across the room (ah he can fly…erm NOT). Or attempting to put hair clips in his very short downy hair and accidentally drawing blood on his forehead.
I work hard on trying to set reasonable safe limits of interaction with her baby brother to avoid resentment, but keep her from doing dangerous things that may harm him. I think generally we do OK, but the hairclip moment last week upset me. My poor little boy. Yet my poor little girl didn’t quite comprehend either. To be honest, the boy was over it in about 10 seconds, it was just me wishing that maybe I’d been firmer about not trying to put pink butterfly clips in his hair.
Largely she is brilliant though, sometimes a little over enthusiastic about caring and attending to her baby brother, but I don’t want to squash that, I do my best to redirect it the best I can.
I also work hard on helping them bond, I’m sure our tandem breastfeeding helps (if they both nurse together she might hold his hand or stroke him). I get her involved in most activities, like nappy changing (which she loves…crazy child). “Let me see the poo,” she bellows and beams with excitement. What is it with toddlers and wanting to see poo? Or is it just mine?
Today there was a delightful moment when she turned around and said “I love Boyo”. I shall cherish that forever. Almost as wonderful as two days ago when she first told me “I love you”, unprompted and totally out of the blue.
So how do your young siblings show love for one another?