When I found out in March that our family would be welcoming a new addition this fall, I was so excited. I was also a little worried. For more than two years, our daughter Jane had been the center of our world. At the time, I couldn’t imagine how I would share my time and my love for her with someone else. As time has gone on, I have realized that, as a mother, your love for your children is endless. Knowing that has eased my concerns considerably.
As my due date approaches, we spend more and more time talking about Jane meeting her new sibling. I can tell that she is excited, but she has also started to show some signs of regressing. She wakes up each day talking like a baby and likes to be cradled and rocked. Her potty training has stalled, and when she had a recent accident, she cried “Gah, gah, gah….” It breaks my heart to know that something inside of her makes her feel that being the baby is more desirable than being who she is – an amazing big girl. Rather than fuss at her about using a big girl voice and not acting like a baby (which I did the first few times this happened), I have tried to embrace that she has a need to be the baby. So each morning, I cradle her in my arms and ask her if she wants to hear about her big sister. She nods and says, “gah, gah!” in a tone that means yes. And so I proceed in telling her that her big sister Jane is smart and kind and exceptionally funny. And her face lights up. And her eyes fill with pride as mine fill with tears. She just needs to know how special she is in all of the uncertainty that it is clear she perceives.
One of the pros of having a scheduled c-section (not that I couldn’t deliver early, but assuming things go according to plan), we know when our last night as a family of three will be. Rather than let it go by as we would any other night, we have decided to host a “Big Sister Celebration.” It will not be anything fancy or formal, but it will certainly be a celebration all about Jane. We are going to start our evening with a tea party of her favorite peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in the backyard. Then we will walk to Pinkberry to get her some pink ice cream topped with whatever toppings she’d like. When we come home, she will get to open two packages. One is from us and is a “Big Sister” dress that a friend of mine is making her. The other is a gift from the new baby. I toyed with the idea of getting her something sentimental, a keepsake of sorts. But, after consulting my dearest NOMB teammates, everyone agreed that it would probably be more special to get her something that she just really wants. So, the new baby will be getting her the Sandra Boynton book she keeps pointing to on the back of “The Going to Bed Book” and a pair of butterfly wings. And most importantly, the baby will be giving her a letter telling her just how special she is.
My Dearest Janie-Bird,
I cannot wait to meet you tomorrow. I will close my eyes tonight, and when I open them again, I will get to see you – my big sister. Mommy and Daddy said that the greatest gift they could give to me is you. They said that you are the most special big girl in the whole wide world. I believe them because I have gotten to hear you sing to me and tell me knock knock jokes. I really love the one you made up about the shoe on your head. It makes me laugh so much that Mommy can feel it in her tummy. I love to hear about your days at school and everything that you are learning, and I cannot wait for you to teach me all about the things you know. I cannot wait for you to show me how to make cupcakes and plant flowers and kick a soccer ball. But, most of all, I just cannot wait to see you. I can’t wait for you to hold my hand and kiss my cheeks and to hold me in your lap. And I can’t wait to spend my whole life wanting to be just like you. You are the best big sister anyone could ever ask for, and I love to so much.
Love You Always,
Your New Baby
Awww…that letter made me tear up…our best wishes for her special evening. It sounds like you are doing everything just perfectly!
Your letter to the baby had me bawling!! So beautiful and I also remember the strong emotions I had about Carter not being the only child anymore before Hadley was born. As my due date approaches with baby #3, I am beginning to notice myself having those same feelings about Hadley no longer being the baby. This Mommy business is HARD WORK but boy do I love every second. xoxo