I had a dream last night that Baby 2.0 had been born. (And no, she didn’t have a name in my dream either. I was hoping for a sign, but alas.) The main thing I remember about the dream was holding her on my shoulder, her tiny face on my neck, and patting her tiny padded diaper butt, and I woke up feeling like, “Oh, hell yes. I want that. NOW.”
I’ve mentioned before that I don’t have many happy memories of the newborn days with Catie; my brain seems to only remember the exhaustion and the tears. But then suddenly I’ll remember a tiny moment like this:
And I absolutely cannot wait to do it all over again. Which is particularly weird since I’m pretty sure I got puked on just a few minutes after that picture was taken.
Semi-related: my sister had to be in Raleigh for a work meeting this morning, so she came over last night and spent the night with us. Catie was super-excited, as Tracy is pretty much one of her favorite people on the planet.
The night before, I told Catie about Tracy’s visit, and explained that yes, Tracy is coming, but it’s only for one night and then she has to leave in the morning and go back to Charlotte. I was hoping that if I warned Catie in advance that this would be a quick visit, that it would prevent any meltdowns.
Catie: But I’ll be sad when Tracy leaves.
Me: I know you will, Catie-Bug. But you know what? Tracy will be back again soon. When Baby Sister is born, and Mommy & Daddy go to the hospital, Tracy is going to come to our house to take care of you!
Catie: (looking worried) Forever?
Which, OMG. She’s been talking up the whole Baby Sister thing, I had no idea that there were underlying fears that once the new baby arrived, we wouldn’t be her Mommy & Daddy anymore.
We had a very long talk about how I will always be her Mommy, and how Daddy will always be her Daddy, and all this means is that now we’ll be the Mommy and Daddy of two little girls instead of just one. She buried her face in my neck and hugged me for a long time, so I think she got the message.
What’s funny is that I’ve been trying to lay off on talking about the new baby with Catie for the most part, and I usually wait for her to bring it up, because I don’t want to overwhelm her with baby-baby-baby all the time. But now I’m realizing that approach might not be the best, and maybe I do need to start talking with her more about what things will be like after the baby is here, and emphasizing how this is going to be a good change for our family.
I mean, we have the “I’m a Big Sister Now” book, and several of her friends have younger siblings, so I guess I took it for granted that she understood how the whole transition would work. But my guess is that four year-olds aren’t really capable of internalizing quite so well.
If any moms out there want to throw some advice for how to walk a four year-old through this process, feel free to throw it my way.
I still don’t know what we did, but Elizabeth was in love with her little brother from day one. We managed to somehow give her just enough “big sister” talk to get it to stick. I think too much was possible, so we basically got lucky.
The thing that may have worked best was telling here she would be able to read books to her baby brother, someday. That day is still not here, but it seemed to inspire her at the time.
Also, telling her she could feed the baby was something she looked forward to. She did get to do that and loved it.
@Tony, Yeah, we’ve talked about how when babies are born, they don’t know how to do anything, so she’ll get to help teach her baby sister how to play with toys and all kinds of fun things. And we’ve talked about her helping to feed the baby and change diapers (or, more likely, just hand me the supplies!). But it seems like there was still some lingering fear there of, “Hmm, what does this mean for *me*?” So we’ll just keep talking about it and encouraging her to ask questions to (hopefully!) alleviate her concerns.
LOVE that picture of baby Catie! Also, I can’t wait to see Baby 2.0…seeing that little tiny picture of Catie makes me want to come visit you all really soon!!! I need to plan a trip.