Sibling Love – Big Brother

This is something I have wanted to write now for awhile, as I wanted it to be documented somewhere so that I could look back on how amazing my son (my 5 year old) has been as a big brother.

When I found out I was pregnant, as excited as I was, my very first worry was about my son, would he cope? Did he want a sibling? Would he feel left out or pushed out? Would he be jealous? These are all natural worries that many of us feel when we have a second child, but it looks like I need not have worried, he has been amazing.

Mother and son in front of lake

From the day we told him I was pregnant, from the scan when we found out I was having a girl and throughout my entire pregnancy he has been so excited, so involved and so into the idea of a sister. I never thought a boy, particularly a 4 year old boy, could be so excited about a girl coming into the family (even at school he prefers to play with boys).

Also, 6 months (the point at which he found out) is a long time to wait, I thought he would lose interest. Instead he counted down the days. We helped him out by giving him some anchors to help him count down (since he couldn’t understand the months of the year), so all throughout my pregnancy we would all chant “first it’s Easter, then Daddy’s birthday, then family holiday, then Grandad’s birthday and then Sister!” these events helped him to count down so he knew how long he had to wait, it worked really well.

When she arrived, Nana brought him into the hospital to meet his new sister and he was so chuffed when he got to hold her.

4 year old holding baby

When we came home, in those early weeks, he was so fascinated with every little thing about her:

“Look how tiny her fingers are”

“Mum look she is waving at me”

Newborn hand holding finger

and my favourite:

“I love you so much sister, I love you very, very, very, very, very much” (he whispered in her ear), yes that made me melt.

The wonderous aspect that I hadn’t realised is that I actually love my son more because of the way he loves his sister. I didn’t think it was possible to love my son anymore, but there was a secret pocket of love just waiting to be released.

Since he is 5 years old now, which I believe is the perfect age gap, he is also being super helpful, running off to grab a nappy or a bib whenever I need it, trying to entertain her and sing to her when she cries and even feeding me and putting water to my lips when I was breastfeeding.

Of course it is not all sunshine and rainbows, that wouldn’t be realistic, in his eagerness he can definitely be too much sometimes. He doesn’t realise his own strength so I constantly had to say “Be gentle”, also he is so obsessed with her sometimes that it takes him forever to get anything done. Mornings can be tough, when I ask him to get his breakfast, or get dressed (which thankfully he can do himself), he almost always says “I just have to check on sister first”, which is sweet but also frustrating when you are trying to get out of the door to get him to school on time.

The last little amazement to me though is how much he loves her to be girly. When we went shopping the other day he shouted:

“Mummy you have to buy this tutu for sister, she will look like a princess!”

He simply loves her to be dressed in girly dresses and outfits and always calls her a princess, or “look how beautiful she is, let’s show Dad”.

Now that she is almost 1 year old, I am surprised by how fascinated with her, he still is. Not only that but she adores him, when he stays over at Nana’s she says ‘brother’ a lot, and nobody makes her laugh like he does. When he is playing with her she does a full out belly laugh, the kind that when you hear it, you rush towards to watch and cannot help but laugh yourself. She also finds the weirdest things funny, sometimes, all he has to do is throw a ball and she thinks it is funny.

I love watching them play together and how fascinated she is by him. But of course he can also be too rough sometimes, and accidentally hurts her, and she accidentally hurts him too – all part of the brother/sister relationship.

My brother and I were really close when we were kids, I really hope that they will be too.


Half-Term Heaven

I’m going to start positive but I also have a half term hell post ready to go. I have to be honest, if only to make other mums feel better because honestly we are way to hard on ourselves.

But on to the heaven part…

I have just spent the last 8 days straight with my son, who is 4 years old, just started school and this is the most amount of time we have spent together alone (well except for baby sis) since he was born. I know that sounds sad but I work full time and family holidays have always included hubby so this was just me and them. My first half term and I had high expectations. I was excited and put together a fun week for us so we didn’t get cabin fever.

It was a heavenly week for these reasons:
1. I got to spend quality time with my boy (which as I said above is unusual)
2. He had his very first swimming lesson and loved it!
4 year old stage 1 swimming
3. We got to visit Grandad (who is not very well) in the day time.
4. Both kids got to go trick or treating for the first time.
4 year old and baby skeletons
5. They were super cute in matching skeleton outfits.
6. Halloween Afternoon tea at frosts mmmmm
halloween afternoon tea frosts
7. Chestnut hunting and eating.
8. We all went (as a family) pumpkin hunting at Castle Ashby, lots of fun!
mum and boy on pumpkin hunt
9. Nate got to go back to nursery for a day and see some of his old friends and teachers.
10. I got to spend a few uninterrupted hours reading at Whittlebury Hall thanks to hubby.

11. Bestie came over and the kids played lovely together. At one point Nate ran into the kitchen to grab some tomatoes and cheese and declared they were having a “Midnight Snack” (at 11am!)

Good to know that there were some high points looking back.

To see the full rounded picture of my week and not the glossed over version check out part two, next…


How my 4 year is coping with baby news

I have to say that this time round, the first things I thought of when I found out I was pregnant, was: how will my son cope with the news? Will he be happy? Does he want a sibling? Will he be jealous?

Even though he had randomly said he would like a brother on occasion, I didn’t know if he meant it, or if he would even really understand.

I was surprised and delighted by his reaction when we gave him the news, but also at his constant and continued enthusiasm. I thought he would have grown bored of waiting by now, but every day he continues to talk to the baby and about the baby (or my bump), I think it is constantly on his mind, which I find very surprising.

4 year old kissing baby bump

His enthusiasm has been a delight, here are a few examples of what he has done or said recently:

“Baby, look at me, now this is how you brush your teeth” (He then brushed his teeth in front of my bump).

“Mummy move the blanket off your tummy, the baby can’t see the movie”.

“Mummy make sure you eat lots of carrots so that the baby can see in your tummy.”

Nate: “I want to buy a Batman lunch box for my brother, one for home and one for nursery”

Me: “But what if its a sister?”

Nate: “Then she can have a Batgirl lunch box”

Then we had our 20 week scan, Nate came along as he was so excited to find out if he had a brother. When we told him he has a sister, I could not believe how gracious he was, and how his clever little brain reacted:

Me: So how do you feel about having a sister?

Nate: It’s okay mummy, I didn’t really want a brother, I just wanted my sister to have a brother!

You know, sometimes I look at him and think, you’re not 4 – you’re 14!

I hope that his enthusiasm continues after the baby is born, though I am sure it will be a shock for him how much of mummy’s time is taken up with the baby. Hopefully he will not get too jealous.

According to my mum, when I was 3 and my brother came along, I tried to flush him down the toilet, that’s how jealous I was! So yes I am a tiny little bit worried that Nate will be like me.

Does anyone have any sibling jealousy stories or to be more positive stories of siblings who instantly bonded?