Telling one about the other
Written by: Josh Conley August 23 2012 Man, don’t you […]
Man, don’t you hate it when parents try to relay stories of their child’s cuteness to you?
It always starts the same way, too: ‘OMG, You’ll never guess what my little tiger cub did yesterday!’ You’re right, I won’t, because you won’t give me the chance. Nope, you’re going to pin me down like a Ukranian wrestler and tell me in five minutes what could easily have been relayed in one sentence: Your kid picked up a yellow ball and said, “Sun.” End of story.
Am I wrong? The problem with these stories is that they almost never translate to a universal language of cute. But what can I say? We just can’t stop trying, can we?
So, on that note, you’ll NEVER guess what Bub did the other day…
My wife first attempted to explain the miracle of Bub’s sibling to Bub by pointing at her belly and saying ‘Baby.’ This in turn prompted Bub to point to his little potbelly and say, ‘Baby.’
Cute, right? Wait, wait, there’s more…
That was a couple months ago, fast forward to this week. My wife tried a new tack. She explained to Bub in detail that he was going to be a big brother and that his little brother or sister was living right here, inside her belly.
Bub soaked up the information for a minute, let the synapses fire. Finally, as if he had processed and subsequently accepted this information, he pointed to my wife’s abdomen and requested simply:
So the kid seems like he’s ready for this new chapter to begin, but I’m pretty sure he’s not. I mean, let’s be realistic, how can you convey the meaning of another’s impending existence to someone who doesn’t understand that sidewalk chalk is not a vegetable?
So how DO you prepare him? I mean, there are some pretty severe ramifications here. He is the member of this family that arguably will be most affected by this change, yet has the least say in it. I’m not the one who will be sharing a room with Baby—he will. And that won’t be Mommy riding shotgun in the backseat, sharing the double stroller and changing table and Mega Blocks. That would also be you, Bub.
So we did what we thought would help. This past weekend, we gave his room a major overhaul, created more space (for crib #2, plus some) without disturbing his. He actually has more play space now, and this will theoretically lessen the shock of a roommate, having the room set up.
His Bubbe also got him a new sure-fire hit toy that will coincidentally be given upon the baby’s arrival. We also have been showing him lots of pictures of babies and relating that back to Mommy’s belly, explaining and explaining. He really does understand much more than he lets on.
He’s pretty mellow, agreeable. I think he’ll be fine, but we still wonder if we’re doing enough. And what else can be done? Any suggestions for pre- or post-baby integration would be most welcome!