I have been watching my baby turn into a little boy over the past few months. It is amazing to watch him mature and I can’t help but wonder what he will be like as a big brother. In (hopefully) five months, we will all find out. As my belly has been growing, I’ve been trying to introduce the idea of a new baby to my baby. Typically he laughs at me and then pokes me in the belly button, obviously missing my message. Treating me like the Pillsbury-Dough-Mom is not the response I was hoping for as I share the news of our growing family.
Then, as we were playing around one day and I asked for a hug, he said, “I hug the baby.” He leaned over and pressed his cheeks against my naked belly and I became teary at the sweetness of this simple gesture.
As an older sibling and first-born, I know his relationship with his younger sibling will likely have its highs and lows and I am trying to prepare myself to parent through those situations with skill. This will be an entirely new parenting game. We are preparing to have to divide and conquer. We will have to attempt to be fair. In exchange, I hope that they play well together and take care of each other, throughout their lives.
This new addition will be hardest on N, who for the first 30 months of his life has been the center of the universe and has quite enjoyed it. Beyond hugging my belly though, he has made me hopeful in his interactions with toy dolls, babies, and younger children at school, in which he is gentle, compassionate, and loving. These are exactly the characteristics I would want in any big brother and what make N a great one already.