Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Love Thy Brother

People have been asking how KIC is adjusting to having a baby brother and no longer being the single focus of our lives.  Truth be told, I think she is adjusting better than we are!  It was definitely something we were concerned about from the very beginning and made a concerted effort to involve her in all aspects of the pregnancy. 

Prior to being pregnant with Bean, if you asked KIC if she wanted a sibling, she would tell you very emphatically that one child was enough for this family.  For many many months, she never wavered in her stance that she was the only child we needed.  When we told her, we told her on a night that we engaged in a family craft project that would yield a Barbie play house for her. 
KIC picked out her shirt that day, not even knowing what it said!

On the night we told her, she asserted that we would be having a boy (side note:  she thinks that the baby magically came into my tummy the night we told her.  It's not something I am going to correct any time soon!).  It was too early in the pregnancy to know the gender, so we cautioned her that it might not be a boy and tried to prepare her for a little sister.  KIC, in her wise beyond her years way, basically told us that she would be fine if it was a girl, but it was a boy so no further discussion was really warranted.  We, as the smug, all knowing adults we are, gave her the verbal equivalent of a pat on the head and bided our time until the big reveal then looked at each other with wide eyed wonder when her prediction came true. 

 "It's a brother!  I knew it!"

From the point that we told KIC about the pregnancy, it was game on for her.  Strangers were treated to the information that she was having a baby and it was going to be a boy.  We took her to the gender reveal ultrasound, baby registry shopping as well as various and sundry other activities to keep the momentum going.  Daily questions or thoughts or statements came from her regarding babies and her baby brother in general, especially regarding his arrival.  Thank goodness we had Christmas to use as a timeframe, otherwise, I think we would all have gone crazy!!

When the big day finally came, I can't honestly say it was love at first sight for KIC.  She was in love with him before he was even born.  But the luster hasn't faded for her.  She's not annoying with her love, in his fact constantly demanding his attention.  But when she feels that we are doing a poor job as parents, she's not afraid to step in with quiet censure.

Often, when I'm in the kitchen making dinner before Brent gets home, I'll look into the family room and see her absently rocking him, or giving him a pacifier if he's fussy.  She makes a beeline for him when she gets home from an event where he hasn't been in attendance.  When I first got home, anything I did for him, her question was "Did the doctor tell you you could feed him from a bottle??" or "Did the doctor say he could sleep in his crib??"  I finally had to tell her that I actually KNEW some stuff, that the doctors don't tell you everything.

I think the sweetest exchange, so far, happened the other night.  Brent and I are working hard to get Bean used to sleeping in a crib.  His preferred position is our chest, and that's all well and good, but man, is it exhausting.  So we have been experimenting with the whole "put him in the crib and let him self soothe".  Which means nobody is getting any rest.  But I digress.  On the evening in question, we Bean was in his crib and we were taking the hard line in letting him soothe himself.  KIC, on her way to her room, found this treatment to be unsatisfactory.  She stopped in his room and made a beeline for the music box on the side of his crib.  She helpfully turned it on for him.  His crying stopped until he realized her goal was not to pick him up and put him out of his misery.  When his crying resumed, we saw her (courtesy of the video baby monitor) helpfully offer him one of her Barbies.  She whipped that Barbie into his crib so fast, Barbie's head spun.  When THAT didn't help, she whipped Barbie back out, turned off the music and left the room.  If he wasn't going to appreciate her efforts, she was taking her toys and going home!  Brent and I left our hearts melted into a puddle on the family room floor that night. 

Having a brother of my own, I'm not naive enough to think that this utopia of sibling love is destined to go on forever.  There will be fits and starts and times when the are not speaking to each other.  Alternately, I hope there will be times when we see them voluntarily spending time with each other, loving and appreciating each other.  For now, I will cherish the insta-bond these two have and pray that it continues to grow.  I can only hope their bond is as strong as the one my brother and I have.

Yeah, I'd say KIC is rocking this big sister gig.  Even more, she's making us so so proud to be her parents. 

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