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Monday, June 23, 2014

Brotherly Love

Pre-baby silliness
I spent a wonderful weekend on a girl’s get together with friends that I haven’t seen in a (what felt like a) lifetime. More specifically, all of us have had our second (or third) child since we saw each other last – so it has been the lifetime of our kids – but a lifetime nonetheless. We gabbed about all sorts of things, but one topic in particular made me remember how far we have come with our family since Alex was born. I’m thrilled to say that our kids love each other now, but this was not an altogether smooth transition from one to two children for us – and I’m relieved to know that we are not the only ones that had a tough period to work through.

Gretchen was two years and seven months when Alex was born. She was a happy, fun, energetic little girl that potty trained perfectly, loved her frequent weekend morning trips with Daddy only (I was horribly uncomfortable at the end of my pregnancy and Jon was great about giving me mornings alone) and in general, seemed to be unaffected by my huge belly or the impending baby-to-be. Then, September 20th happened. 
Not sure what to make of this intruder

For the next six weeks, our fun-loving little girl turned into an angry, frustrated, whiny, difficult child. She went from a self-sufficient, confident kid to needing to spend every moment with Mommy and then spending many of those moments angry with Mommy.

In many ways, we were lucky. She didn’t regress with potty training. She wasn’t aggressive or difficult with the baby. But as parents, you can’t always see the clearing through the weeds and we were terrified that this was her new personality. Grandparents came to the rescue. Between Grammy, Papa Mas, Gran and Poppa, we had multiple weeks of extra people doting on Gretchen. I’m convinced that this is what made the difference. She still had some incidents of being frustrated, but I think her “Bank of Attention” just needed to be filled. Two exhausted parents, one recovering from a c-section, just weren’t enough at the time. After the grandparent visits, our fun loving girl was back.

A little zoo time was just what the doctor ordered
Reading with Gran puts a smile on my face!
Suddenly baby brothers aren't so bad...
Once the hurdle was cleared, she refers to her brother as “my baby”, makes him laugh, makes him smile, suggests foods that he might like and has become that mini-momma that I was hoping for. She helps with diapers, hates to see him sad and understands that sometimes Mom and Dad need to spend extra time with the baby.  Their relationship now is something that I am excited about, especially now that Alex is more mobile (yikes!), responsive and not such a little-ball-of-baby. Granted, she’s not thrilled about sharing her toys and loves to scold him with a “Buddy, NO!”, but I’ll take that any day over the sad, frustrated, Ms. Hyde of a little girl that we knew during the month of October.

And now the two of our children together melt my heart:

I write this now to remind myself that it wasn’t always fun and roses, there is an adjustment period for everyone when someone else joins the family. Though this adjustment can be difficult, I take solace in knowing that my family is not the only ones to go through it. For anyone ready to bring home another baby, things most definitely will be hard at times, but chin up! I hope that there are incredible sibling moments on the horizon for you as well.

1 comment:

  1. Catching up on your blog tonight! Love it as usual!! This post gave me some serious butterflies though :-) Wondering if this will be us in 6 weeks!!? :-)