I used to think 2 years is the perfect age gap; the kids could play together, be in the same school and generally be each other’s best mates. In hindsight, if we were pregnant a year ago, I am not sure if C would have made this journey easy. Last year, C had ZERO interest in younger kids, babies and being a big sister in general. She was adamant that she didn’t need a friend, a lifelong buddy.
Something changed when she turned three earlier this year. When we found out about the pregnancy, my biggest concern was how she would take to it. She has such a strong personality and having to share us with another human being is a massive change. I broached the subject by asking her if she would like a baby brother or a sister and was pleasantly surprise when she said she wanted a baby sister.
We had been co-sleeping since November last year, after we moved to Hoboken and bought a king sized bed. I was not a proponent of co-sleeping and honestly I would rather have her in her room. Call it mummy’s guilt; at that point, there were so many changes in her young life (and ours) in the short span of a year, this was a small concession. We expected her to be our only child, and she will eventually grow out of room. Plus I love our nightly pre-bedtime chats and on weekend mornings, she would “wake” me up by placing her little hands on my cheeks and saying “I love you mama, wakey wakey!”
In any case, we couldn’t kick her out of our bed when A comes (we don’t want her to feel rejected / unwanted). So I ended making a big deal about being 4 years old and that it’s a Big Girl age. She needs to keep Baby A company and protect her in the Girls’ Room. We shall see if this works in February! *fingers crossed*
When we found out that we are indeed giving her a baby sister, we let her pick the name (she was given a choice – Ava, Kayla or Colette). She went around telling everyone “Mama has Baby A in her tummy”, so we can’t back out of that one! We also brought her to the 20 week scan and let her listen to A, feel her movements which tickled her to no end.
In the last month, Mr. P asked C to help do up the Girls’ Room; she painted the Expedite shelf, put up the wall decals, put together A’s crib and test it out for her by having a picnic in the crib with her toys.
When we went shopping for A’s stuff, we asked her pick out clothes for Baby A. And we always make sure she got to pick out an item for herself. The sweetest thing was when I asked if she would share her baby toys with A, she gladly and proudly set aside a bunch (“these are baby toys for Ava, I am a big girl and only play with big girl toys”).
Of late, we have been reading “I’m a Big Sister” by Joanna Cole almost every night before bedtime. In general, we are doing our best to let her know through our actions and words that while changes are ahead, our love for her will never dimish; that she will always be our baby.
Here’s to hoping I haven’t jinxed things and she would continue to be good as gold with a new baby in our lives.
P.S. D-day is here. I have been battling contractions while working all day today. I think Baby A will be like her sister and be a wee hour baby!
P.P.S. Please help pray for a smooth delivery and a healthy baby!