For some reason, be it for better or for worse of me, Ihave a much harder time imagining Rosie as a big sibling than I did Noah-before-Rosie. Maybe it's because Noah was born an old soul, or maybe because Noah was our only, while Rosie was born the baby from the start. But Noah took to big brotherdom like a boss. He doted on her and loved her the minute he understood she was swimming around in my belly, and when she was finally born I nearly died from the adorablesplosions that happened 'round the clock in our house as he helped with bathtime, fetched her pacifiers, fed her bottles, and generally showered her with affection whenever he was within a two foot radius of her. It was, and continues to be, awesome in all ways, and also makes me incredibly proud of him times infinity and two.
This thing is all wiggly!And squinchy-faced! And Ilove it!
As she's gotten older, he's settled in to the role of Oldest a little more, with slightly less affection (Although truly, not a whole lot less, because, well, I don't know, maybe he's a robot? An amazingly thoughtful and loving robot? Whatever it is, I'll take it.) and a lot more instructing. Which I highly encourage, especially when it involves things like telling Rosie not to drink the bath water or to get down off the dining room table. So when it comes to baby Ellis number three, Noah's all “Pssh—I got this. Ain't no thing.Bring on the babies!”He even made me a helpful list recently, in case I forgot how to acquire his promised little brother:
Hmmm, I wonder how much babies are running these days?
Rosie, on the other hand, is still riding the wave of excitement from months ago when we told her she would get to be a big sister. And trust me, the girl's got enough excitement to last an entire gestation and then some. But I'm not sure if she really knows what it means, you know?
Captain of the Team Pregnancy Squad. Rah rah baby bellies!
Rosie is pure energy. A (very) short list of words I would use to describe her are: vibrant, ebullient, dynamic, sunny, headstrong and hilarious. Careful? Eh. Watchful? Uhhh. Patient? Yeah, no. And those are qualities that really helped Noah a lot when we disrupted his secure toddler life by bringing a whole other person into it.
Of course, I don't mean to sell Rosie short. She might totally knock me over with her ability to adjust to the new family dynamic. One of the things Ilove about her the most is how much she wants to be a part of everything, wants to be right in the thick of it. She slid right into this family seamlessly, and once she was old enough to voice it, let us know that she wanted in on all of the things—the inside jokes (even if she didn't get them), the singing of the songs (even if she couldn't quite pronounce all the words), the reading of the chapter books in bed at night (even if she didn't understand the plot). She wanted to jump right in to the part where we had known and loved her for years and years and years, even when she'd only been around for a couple. Even now, when she's starting to pronounce all the words correctly and deliver her own punchlines, she seems to still move toward being grown up, older, like all the bigger people in her family.
Hang on, can Icall you back?My mom's getting all sentimental again.
So I do think she'll take to the instructional part of big siblinghood. (Maybe too well.) She's already voiced her excitement at getting to “put the baby to bed in my room”—to which I say, knock yourself out, sister. And she routinely tells my stomach, “HELLOBABY. I'MYOURBIGSISTER ROSIE.” And then she kisses it, reverently.
But, she's going to have to be quiet at times she hasn't had to be up until now. And actually share her space and her toys with someone who will be a lot more interested in them than her older brother ever has been. She'll have to wait on someone slower than she is, someone who needs as much or even more of me than she does. She'll have to give up her title as “the baby.” She'll have to share my lap, my arms, my time.
I'm going to have to do what now?
If anyone is up for a challenge though, it's Rosie Mae. That girl is tough. And she isn't afraid to speak her mind. I'm grateful for that, and I'm also grateful that she's had an older brother who's shown her the way to be the bigger with kindness and love.
All that's left now is the hope that the arrival of this baby will complete our puzzle—the five pieces of a family falling into place—and slide Rosie into the middle with a click, showing her that it's right where she'd hoped to be all along.