The first time I brought up the idea that in future my daughter will have siblings. She categorically said ,’no way!’ Her reasons include, they will disturb her peace, she doesn’t like baby noise, there is no extra bedroom, who will be carrying them, will we have to include their photos in our album? She couldn’t just comprehend it. Intact I was told if I ever get other kids I should prepare to have two homes, because she won’t live with them. That conversation left me wondering what has happened to this generation. Iam the fourth born in my family, and I was never consulted when our fifth born came, taking over all my fun.
A few months later, after peer pressure worked on her in school, she started buying the idea of having sibling’s . this time I found myself sharing my desire to have twins or triplets in future. I expected war, but realized she was calm about it, in fact my twins are welcome in our house. (As long as they Dont get to her room!) For me that was progress. Even though she was so harsh on my twins, saying they will not touch her stuff and will need a password to speak to her.
The story gets better as we speak. Recently she commented on one of her dresses, that ‘I have outgrown it and I can now keep it for my sister’. My heart leaped with joy as I smiled sheepishly. Finally, she seems to get it! As I was still in celebration mode, we started building castles in the air. Wanted to know how she would react if we won a big house or castle. She glowed as she decorated the castle and allocated rooms. I went ahead asking where my future husband and other children would sleep. She seriously requested if we would enjoy the new house just the two of us before we allow ‘strangers’ in. Fantasy world was soon over!
Nowadays, I watch her look at toys, tiny dresses and shorts, and I know for a fact that she would love some little company. (One day she will confess it out loud)
I used to think that it doesn’t matter. That I can just go to the ‘supermarket’, buy another child, come home with my bundle of joy and expect everyone else to flow with it! Because its my life, my choices to make. I know where the newborn will sleep and what she/he/they will eat, come on! Take your opinion elsewhere.
Then I went for several baby visits, saw the older kids. Others aware of what’s happening and happily helping around. while others cannot comprehend the sudden shift of attention and they walk around with long faces.
Parents, it is wise for us to prepare our older kids before a new one comes. At least let them know what the pregnancy means, and start giving them roles, so that they be part of the celebration. (I saw one who was in charge of the baby’s bed, ooh she was happily folding the little blankets). Remind the older kids that the new one is not here to take up their position but to be a blessing.
Then for us frequent baby visitors. Please when you are going to see a newborn and you are aware there is an older sibling, carry something for them too. However ‘small’ it may be, it reminds them that they are not forgoten.
For me, let me keep talking to mine, we will get there…