My writing wheels are a little squeaky so it is time that I grease them up again. My WD40 is this blog and I'm determined to get it going again. With a new baby, a 3-year-old and a 6-year-old, I have ample material.
When my first daughter, Tatum, was born, my son (2.5 years old at the time) was obsessed with her. He was practically glued to her side and used every opportunity to touch her and caress her. His favorite, and most bizarre, activity is one I'll never forget. He would grab her teeny tiny hand, place it in his palm and rub it back and forth against his cheek saying, "Oh Tatum. Oh Tatum." It was his way of expressing both his undying affection for her and his resentment of her sudden presence in his life at the same time. It was sweet the first five times he did it. After that it was just annoying. If I were a videotaping Mom (I'm not), I'd have one of these episodes on tape. They were pretty humorous.
I wasn't sure how my older two kids would react to the baby, especially Tatum. She's a bit of a wild card. She's fiercely independent, one of the most resilient children I've ever come across, and she has a less-than-stellar reputation when it comes to babies. She has no tolerance for any children that are younger than her, particularly babies. One of her friends has a two-year-old sister and Tatum refuses to acknowledge her existence. This little girl adores Tatum and wants nothing more than for Tatum to play with her but she refuses. She snubs her with all of the determination of a stuck up high school cheerleader. I asked her on several occasions if she liked babies and always got the same response, "No. I don't like them but I'll like our baby." I worried.
As it turns out, both of the kids have been pretty cool about Harper's sudden presence in their lives. They feel less jilted because they have each other to lean on and I had the foresight to prepare them for the baby by exposing them to good ol' fashion neglect in the final weeks of my pregnancy. Both kids have an interest in Harper and they cannot wait for her to smile and respond to them but they don't hover or smother her. There have been a few behavioral issues but nothing worthy of concern and they have been easy to remedy. I'm grateful to have found a middle ground with two very different kids and that my son doesn't smother the new baby and my daughter doesn't snub her completely. Here's a picture of the three of them sitting harmoniously on the couch. Harper is the little one in the middle, being forced to wave to the camera.
Special thanks to Melinda at Nicodemus Photography for taking this shot and many more. She does great work. Take a look at her portfolio at: http://nicodemusphotos.blogspot.com/