Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Big Brother Training
Two weeks until Peanut is due! At my last exam, I was 2 centimeters dilated, 75% effaced, and the baby's head was in 0 station. All this means that Peanut could come at any time! Truth is, I was dilated to 2 centimeters for a month with Jr., so I'm not holding my breath that Peanut will be born any second.
I'm still working hard to make sure Jr. is ready for the major life transition of adding a sibling to the family. A couple weeks ago I shared the books I have been reading with Jr. We've also been taking every opportunity to talk about the baby's arrival. And, I've been getting as much advice as possible from experienced moms. We've taken Jr. shopping to buy Peanut a gift and I've had him help get the baby's room ready. He has enjoyed stacking diapers, putting away blankets, and sorting through toys. In fact, he probably knows where the baby's essential items are better than Daddy at this point! We've had "big brother lessons" where Jr. eagerly learned how to change a diaper and swaddle the baby. Not that I expect him to really be involved in those activities, but I want him to feel like he's got an important role in helping with Peanut. We took him to my last doctor's visit so he could hear the baby's heartbeat, see the hospital, and start understanding that mommy will have to go to the hospital for a few days to have the baby.
I always wonder, though, how much a two year-old can possibly prepare for a sibling's arrival. Cognitively, you just wouldn't expect a child of such a young age to understand the complex idea of child birth. Jr. can point to my belly and indicate that's where the baby is growing. But does he really understand that a living, breathing baby is in mommy's tummy? Jr. can parrot that "baby's comin'" and "I big brother!" But, does he really understand the permanency of a new baby? He even says that he "wants to see baby," but when he actually does, will he be accepting of the new needy bundle of joy?
Who knows? All we can do is help prepare him as much as possible and hope he is ready. And, there are many indications that he's excited and developing affection for his sister. Momsie's most happy moment in big brother training was when he took one of his favorite trains and spontaneously carried it to the baby's room and said, "Baby's present!" And, in her toy basket it remains. I was so proud.
So, baby prep is going well. But, a summer complication I didn't expect has reared it's ugly head. I hadn't planned one iota for Jr. to have separation problems from daycare! He totally wants to "go bye-bye" or "go to school" every day. And, this grates on momsie's fragile nerves. I really wanted our few last weeks together as mommy and son to be full of fun. And, I'm trying to plan as many outings as possible, but this child really loves daycare. Praise God, this week has been a bit better than last. I guess it's always the complication that you aren't prepared for that is the most difficult!