By this time, Matthew is a pro at being a big brother. If I need to get something done, I know I can rely on him to hold and protect Lucy. He does get a little anxious if she's upset (but really, who doesn't?) and prefers holding her while she's peacefully asleep. But really, this is his second time around the block with a new baby sister. He's seasoned.
But what about little Miss Emma? She's also very eager to help with Lucy and is learning what it means to be a good big sister.
Before we brought Lucy home, Emma was all about her baby dolls. She loved to dress them, sing to them, play with them, and sleep next to them. However, as soon as Lucy came home from the hospital, Emma has completely abandoned her baby dolls in favor of the newer more lifelike substitute that has suddenly come into her life. All of her attention has been shifted to playing with Lucy. This is a good thing and a bad thing. It's great that she has such an interest in her little sister and wants to help care for her. However, I have also seen how she treats her baby dolls. Sure, she rocks them, cuddles with them, and seems to have great maternal instincts...bus she also drops them on the floor, sits on their faces, whacks them against the staircase as she carries them, and shoves bottles and pacifiers violently into their faces. In short, she's rough. I am completely afraid that she might be just as aggressive with her new doll - Lucy!
And she is - whenever she hones in for a kiss, I practically have a heart attack as I try to prevent poor Lucy from being smothered in the process.
As another example. the other day I had just finished changing Lucy and was getting up to throw some items in the washing machine. I left Lucy happily kicking and squirming on her blanket. I was gone for no more than 30 seconds, when I suddenly heard Lucy start crying frantically. I rushed back into the room to find Emma sitting next to her looking guilty. I picked Lucy up and began to calm her and then asked Emma: "What happened? Why is she so upset?!"
Emma replied, with a look of smug satisfaction on her chubby face: "I spanked her!"
She had to put her head in the corner for that one.
Later, I was thinking about what had happened as I was burping Lucy and realized that perhaps Emma mistook me slapping the baby's back while burping for spanking. Who knows.
|Poor, unsuspecting Lucy.|
Despite that little incident, Emma loves her little sister dearly. She drops everything she is playing with when I come into the room with Lucy. She loves to help me pick out a little outfit for Lucy to wear each day and relishes the fact that she can have her diaper changed at the same time as her baby sister - something I am not too happy with because she has completely regressed and is no longer interested in being potty trained. She loves to brush Lucy's hair - something that terrifies me because, again, she is very rough. When running errands or driving about town, Emma is thrilled to be seated next to Lucy. Paul and I have not been so thrilled with the car seat arrangement since Emma loves to poke baby Lucy in the face ("I touch her eyes, Mommy!"), shove books in her face, and knock on the side of her car seat with her chubby fist while asking: "Is anybody home?!" over and over and over again. And, since we're driving, there is really not a darn thing we can do about it. However, last week we returned home from an errand and saw that both girls had fallen asleep during the ride and a sleeping Emma was clutching onto Lucy's tiny hand. It was so sweet.
Paul and I have to continually remind ourselves that Emma is only 26 months old and was a baby herself not long ago. All in all, she is doing wonderfully adjusting to her dethronement from her role as Baby of the House and trying her best to be a good big sister. I'm excited for the relationship between my two little ladies to continue to evolve over the years. My wish for them is that they will remain close for the rest of their lives. They're off to a good start.