Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Joshua the big brother

It's been a summer of big transitions for our little guy.  First, I stopped working and was home pretty much 24/7.  This transition was unexpectedly tough for Joshua -- while I was working, the limited time I had at home was pretty intensely Mama-and-Joshua time, so it took a few weeks for him to understand that there might be times when I'm home but won't be doing everything he demands.  The tantrums and difficulties that surrounded that first transition made us nervous about everything else coming down the pike for Joshua...

But thankfully, he's been able to roll with things as they changed this summer.  We moved to a new rental in early July -- still in Princeton, but now a townhouse with three bedrooms.  And more importantly, in Joshua's eyes, the new house has stairs!  And a window seat!  And a backyard!  And playgrounds within toddler walking distance!  He weathered this transition without even batting an eye.

Shortly thereafter, we moved Joshua into a big boy bed.  And after just one rough nap time, Joshua adjusted to this change as well -- we think he likes being able to stretch out in his big bed, and he certainly loves having the freedom to get out of his bed to play with his toys.  ;)  We had a lot of fun setting up his big boy room, with car/train/plane wall decals and lots of his favorite toys, and he now loves asking us to "go car room" and play with him.

And then the biggest transition of all -- we brought a baby sister home!  We'd spent a lot of time talking to Joshua about his baby sister, reading him books about being a big brother, and doing what we could to prepare a two-year-old for some major life changes.  Joshua knew that "baby sister" was in Mama's belly, but it's doubtful that he fully understood what that actually meant...

The day after Sophia was born, Joshua got to meet his sister for the first time.  His first reaction was to look askance at the bundle in my arms and then proclaim "bye-bye, baby sister!!"  I think he wanted me to be holding him instead... Then he became more interested in the wires and machines in the hospital room.  We brought out the new plastic animals that "Sophia" had "brought" as a gift for her big brother, and Joshua spent the rest of his visit delightedly playing with them.  Perhaps not the best possible first meeting, but not too bad overall.

As soon as we brought Sophia home, though, Joshua was fascinated by this new member of our family.  It helped a TON that David's mom was here for the first week -- Joshua had a lot of focused attention from Grandma, which made the changes easier for him to take.  But his natural empathy and curiosity also shone through.  He wanted to keep hugging Sophia, so we taught him to gently rest his cheek on Sophia's forehead (rather than body slamming her...).  "I see baby Sophia?  I see Sophia forehead?" has quickly become a refrain around here.  :)  He also loves to help burp Sophia -- and thankfully, she doesn't seem to be much bothered by the vigor with which he smacks her back.

We're still trying to settle into a new family routine around here -- Joshua isn't exactly jealous, but it's hard for him to wait patiently for me to finish nursing Sophia before playing with him, and our energy levels are a lot lower than his these days what with the lack of sleep and learning how to care for two kids at once.  But overall, this transition has gone so much more smoothly than we'd expected, and we're so grateful for that!

1 comment:

Ann Marie R. said...

Christina, thank you for this great post and for sharing this transition with us so honestly. I learned a lot. Warm wishes for your continued journey.