I thought the concept of a baby in mama’s belly would be a strange one for my son but since I first told him many months ago he seemed completely nonplussed. I guess he believes in Elmo who lives in his television so why not a baby who lives inside my belly? He loved kissing my belly each morning and patting it cheerfully saying hi baby! love you! He told friends and family who came by that mama now had two babies and one of the babies was inside mama belly! While we knew he’d have more complex feelings once the baby was actually here, we felt relieved at how well he was handling this so far.
Enter baby Liam.
The other day our friends came over for a playdate for their two-year-old and ours. They also brought along their three month old baby boy Liam. The two toddlers took to each other instantly, racing cars, and exploring the house side-by-side giggling and whispering each step of the way. And me? I was in bliss holding a cute little twelve pound ball of cuteness and wondering how on earth my own son could ever have been quite this small. At one point Waleed raced past me and I motioned him over. See this baby? I asked him, showing him the sleeping child in my arms. I pressed a hand to my stomach. Mama is going to have a baby like that for you to play with too very soon.
He looked at my belly. The baby. And then me. And now? Now he’s not so excited about this whole baby thing anymore. Now he no longer “chats” with baby or eagerly announces the presence of said baby to friends and family. And now, when K pats my belly or talks to the ‘baby’, Waleed begins hopping from foot to foot singing loudly to distract us and if this doesn’t work, he’ll just yell no!
Oh dear. I know he’ll eventually adjust but I now see that the initial few days, weeks, [months? oh dear, I hope not months!] will be a rough adjustment for him and I’m trying to figure out what I can do to best help him prepare for this impending reality in the best possible way. As awesome as a sibling is, he’s not going to see that at first, and I can hardly blame him. I just need to figure out how to help him handle it in the best way possible.
Any advice on helping the older child adjust to the arrival of the new child? Or any fortunate readers who had no issues whatsoever in the transition? Any good kid’s books to help kids understand the concept? Any advice or feedback much appreciated!