My little girl loves her big brother.
And no, you didn’t miss a pregnancy announcement. This baby hasn’t made her big debut yet, but the way that she responds to my 3-year-old—while still in the womb—is nothing short of amazing.
When he’s talking or singing or roaring like a dinosaur, she does gymnastics in my belly to try to join the party. And even when he and I are cuddling on the couch, she cranes her body as far as she can in his direction, making my abdomen completely weird and lopsided. She just wants to be close to him. And in those dark moments when I’m suddenly freaking out because she hasn’t moved in a hot minute and I can’t seem to wake her up, I have my son talk to her and she immediately responds.
And the feeling is mutual. My son talks to her every morning: “Hiiiiii, baby! It’s me, your big brother. Did you have a good sleep?” And he constantly tells me about all of the things he wants to teach her and tell her and show her. Tonight, we talked about how he could help me with the diapers and how babies poop a lot. (That elicited giggles.) How he could occasionally feed her with a bottle when I wasn’t breastfeeding. (That elicited a little confusion, even after another explanation of breastfeeding.) And how he could put on a show for her—complete with instruments and singing—every single day to entertain her. (That elicited an ear-to-ear grin and a very loud rendition of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.”)
They love each other already, and to me, that’s beyond miraculous.
My friends who have multiple kids have said that one of the most gratifying things about being a parent of two or more is that sibling relationship. Just seeing them together, especially in the early days and months, makes your heart expand in ways you had no idea that it could.
Despite the fact that I’ve always wanted more than one child, this has been something that’s worried me. I know all too well how difficult that sibling relationship can be.
But I have high hopes for this one. And I hope to cultivate it in all of the healthy, non-competitive, protective, loving ways possible—starting with making sure my son is included in as many aspects of his sister’s care as possible; making sure he gets his fair share of solo mommy time; and figuratively (and maybe literally) smacking anyone who dares to compare the two of them.
I’m sure that things will get a little dicey when she starts to steal his toys, but hopefully by then they’ll have a solid foundation for friendship and they can eventually move past that. At some point, anyway.
Tell Us: How have you tried to foster the sibling relationship between your kids?
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