Monday, November 07, 2011
Battling Big Brother Blues
"Brother, brother . . . war is not the answer" ~ Marvin Gaye
Q is a big brother now. How has he adapted to this new role? Pretty darn well, considering I expected the worst. He adores his baby sister and always wants her around. He loves to give her hugs and kisses. Which is awesome. Except when he uses the full weight of his body to do so. Still, awesome. He wants her to come along even when I tell him it's special mama and Q time. Clearly he loves Z with the weight of a thousand toddlers. That is his MO -- hug 'em till it hurts.
But he is definitely feeling the change in the household. He wants to sit on mama's lap and have mama do everything for him, even if three other people are offering to help. He wants both mama's and daddy's attention desperately, even if that means throwing toys and screaming like a maniac to do so. Somehow it's worse when both of us are home and I swear we rarely fawn over Z in front of Q. In fact, we typically go to him first if they're both fussing about something. He just knows that his world has shifted and that he isn't the center anymore.
When Q is asked about his baby sister, he lets them know, "baby cries." Sometimes he likes to mimic her cries at an even louder volume, which only amps up the baby more, and then we have a super fun headache-inducing situation. Or I have to feed her and despite my attempts to distract him with toys, snacks, or TV, he wants to sit on mama's lap which is near impossible. He has a meltdown. Z has a meltdown. Guess who melts down next!
Sometimes all is right with the world, though. Z naps through lunchtime and Q and I have a chance to chat and giggle together. Z is cozy in her sling while we play cars and trucks and things that go go go. I feed Z while Q plays quietly (well, not yelling at the top of his voice at least). He is happy with this new household for the most part. But I know it's a struggle. More like an adjustment of epic proportions. Oh, the transition!
I'm writing this mainly to remind myself that it's not just me and T who are challenged by adding another babe to the pack. Sure, I never have a moment to myself anymore, but I understand that it's only this season of our lives. Q's ability to understand what's happening is not quite at the same level. I'm sure it's not easy for him to see me with Z always attached, whether by boob or by carrier. He knows that she sleeps in our room every night and he has yet to insist upon spending the night there too (knock on wood). So, I'm trying to cut him some slack. I try to make special time for us. I try to follow all the advice I've read about helping your toddler adjust to the new baby. But there will always be those bad days along with the good and it's simply part of us growing as a family.
The lovely moments are worth every owie along the way.