The Hardest Part of 3 Becoming 4
We’ve been home for just about two weeks and, as my handsome husbro put it so well, it feels like “one long day.” For us, managing two babes has been a marathon of poop, swapping hands, and taking turns reading bedtime stories. It’s been teaching brother how to show sister love gently and talking through tantrums and letting us all feel our feelings in the midst of sleep deprivation, endless house projects, guests, and deep gratitude for this life we’ve chosen and are slowly figuring out. It’s a new normal that will continue to change every day.
And, while ODP is the absolute sweetest, I know he’s working through some big feelings about having a new sister. When I picked him up from school last week, three teachers in a row came out to ask me if, “by chance, his sister’s name is…Bianca?” They said he’d been talking about her all day, that he carried himself with a new confidence. I was so proud of him and us in those moments. I know he’s figuring it all out and that he loves being a family with us, but when he breaks down, I catch myself wondering Is this about being two? Or, is this about being two AND having a new baby sister? I don’t think I’ll ever know.
What I’ve tried to stay on top of is giving him as much one on one time as I can. The days after we brought Bianca home, ODP would run to me, yelling “Momma!” and hug my legs. He’d never done that before. I couldn’t reach down to hug him back because I was holding the baby. It broke my heart that I could feel him wanting more than I could give, so I made sure to start thinking about ways I could give him solo energy. Little things like a trip to Trader Joe’s fill that sad bit up, at least for me. We’ve also been asking him what he wants to do as an activity and having sister come along. We want him to feel a sense of power, that he’s not left behind because she’s here.
I know that when she’s a little less dependent and “eating the boobs” as Oliver has taken to saying, things will be easier. One day, a few months from now, they’ll start to play together. But, for now, we’re watching him closely and helping him through his feelings as best we can. My heart is working overtime feeling big feelings, too. This only child can’t help but want to give him the best of me. I hope I still am.