Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I want to eat his dinner

A question that we get asked a lot these days is 'How is Aiden dealing with the new arrival?'. It was something that we worried about a little bit as well. W didn't know how he would deal with a new sibling, especially given that he had Angela's complete attention for his entire life.

We tried to prepare him as much as we could before Sol was born. He knew for a long time that there was going to be company very soon. In fact he even referred to the in utero baby as a sister. He would sing to the baby and tell us what all he'd teach her when she'd come out. Angela also rented some books from the library about having siblings which he'd question quite a lot. One other thing that really helped was getting a doll for him to practice. He named the doll 'cookie' and would play big brother to her. We had installed the baby's car seat next to his, a month in advance just so he gets used to it. He'd take cookie with him to the park and she'd get a ride in his little stroller. Having watched him with other babies, we knew he'd make an excellent brother, but we'd only find out for sure when it really happened.

So when Sol arrived we had our fingers crossed. As you might have seen from his initial reaction, he was really excited to see Sol. He took his own sweet time to get close to him but soon wanted to play with him and pick him up. In fact, sometimes he gets so excited that he doesn't quite know what to do with Sol. Pretty much every day he asks to hold Sol and it's really precious to watch how gentle he is with his little brother. He hasn't yet quite come to terms with hearing Sol cry. At first he rushes to Sol and tries to sing to him and when that doesn't seem to work, he raises the decibel level a few notches in an effort to drown out Sol's cries.

But of course we knew there'd be times when he'd show us the other side. There's been a number of times when he's demonstrated to us that he's not too happy with the situation. He has any number of ways of displaying his displeasure. Sometimes he pretends to be a baby and says that he needs to be held, rocked, nursed or in plain words 'I need some attention'. And not surprisingly it's seems to be around the same time when Sol needs Angela. If these indirect ways don't work, he'll ask us very direct questions like, 'Will you spend time with me ?' or 'Do you love me more than the baby?'. On a couple of occasions he's even threatened to take matters into his own hands with some pretty radical ideas. He's expressed various desires like 'I want to bang the baby', 'I want to jump on top of him' and best of all, 'I want to eat his dinner'. When it comes to these threats he's an equal opportunity tough guy. On a couple of occasions he's told both of us 'I want to throw you into the garbage can'. But so far these have been empty threats and he's not actually followed through with them. We are hoping it stays that way. There's only been one time when he's had a complete blow out which is quite natural given that there's a lot of thoughts that must be going through his tiny head and he just had to let some steam off.

We have been making a conscious effort to spend some quality time with him everyday so he doesn't feel like he's getting the short end of the stick. Keeping to his regular schedule of parks and other activities with his friends as much as possible also helps . We also try to get him involved with some of Sol's activities to give him a sense of ownership. You can already tell that Sol's going to love having him as a big brother and will probably be his shadow for the first few years.


  1. Note to self...don't check out any more books from the library where kids want to throw away their parents. Why give them any ideas? - Mama

  2. At least he is honest about it, I have had many students that just regress in many ways and parents are in the dark about it - not realizing it was the older child's natural reaction to all the changes.

    I'd love to have a playdate soon when you are up for it - even just some playtime at the house!