We (mainly me) worried a lot about how Piglet would handle a new baby and being a big sister. Beginning the weekend of the gender reveal shower back in March, I think she started worrying a little, too. She would act excited about having a baby brother, but she also started acting out more than usual – she knew that her world was about to be rocked. So many of the battles that we had fought for so long and finally won with her were having to be fought again. She was being aggressive at school, having accidents, waking up at 5:00 am, and taking FOREVER to settle down for naps and bedtime – to the point that there were many times when we were both in tears before it was all over.
We tried everything we could to prepare her for Baby B’s arrival. She got a cool “Big Sister” t-shirt. We got a really good “I’m a Big Sister” book that described her situation perfectly and made being a big sister seem really exciting. We tried to talk about how being a big sister was going to be great and that she could be a big helper (she really likes to help). And we really stepped up the positive reinforcement – we are HUGE fans of the sticker chart. She gets a sticker for lots of things and does a little dance when she fills up a row and gets a prize (which is usually just one silly band or a mini-pack of pez – I’m glad she is so easy to please).
So we worried and planned and praised, and she slowly started to come around behavior-wise. And then Baby B was born, and she totally turned a corner – she began behaving so well. She has had perfect behavior at school since he was born and has started getting excited about going to school again. She is completely back on the potty trained train – even waking up completely dry in the morning. She is staying in bed until 6:00 am (which may seem early to you, but 6:00 am still feels awesome after many mornings at 4:00 and 5:00). She is laying down by herself for nap and at night and not fighting sleep.
I think it has some to do with our planning and praising and a lot to do with all of the love she got when Baby B was born. Family and Church Family and even Baby B have spoiled her with gifts for being a big sister. She got extra attention from Grammy the week before and after Baby B was born. During the birth, she got some really great quality time with Pops and Aunt Kathryn – they even took her to Old McDonald’s for dinner and let her have chocolate milk. Russ and I have tried our best to give her lots of love and attention – it has been awesome that Russ quit his 3-week clinical after our bonus hospital stay. And she is spending this weekend with Papa and Mimi. She knows that she is loved and shouldn’t be threatened by Baby B. One afternoon, we overheard her telling her animals in the kitchen that “my mommy and daddy love me so much”.
I also think it has mostly to do with something I forgot amidst all of the acting out and not listening and being difficult: Piglet is an awesome little kid. She is sweet and loving. Caring and helpful. She loves to give hugs and kisses. She wants those around her to be happy. And she thinks babies are cool.
I remember when Piglet was born, I began to appreciate and love Russ in new ways as I saw him be a great father. The same has been true for Piglet. I loved her so much before, and you worry that having a second child is going to change or limit how you can love your first. It has changed how I love my Piglet, but in such a good way. I love her as my daughter, but now I also love and appreciate her as a big sister. I love seeing her in this new way.
She is just awesome.
She loves to help.
She loves to hold him and admire him.
She loves to give him kisses.
When he cries, she tells me that he needs to eat or that he needs his paci. If she doesn’t see him when she comes in the room, she asks “Where’s my baby brother?” – wanting to make sure he is still here. I think these two will be good friends with a great love for each other.
The other day, she walked over to him, grabbed his hand, and started singing him the ABCs…and I knew that this having two kids thing was going to be pretty cool.
Filed under: baby B, parenting, potty training, Pregnancy, sweet baby girl | 3 Comments »