Okay, so bringing a new human life form into the house may be slightly traumatic for my toddler. But no more so then a giant hopping bunny invading daycare. Or being forced to sit on some random fat dude with a big, tangled beard. Or us parents disappearing quite suddenly for 5 days. Or being told “No!” by a mommy who’s body is expanding in equal proportion to her energy imploding.
Kids are resilient. Everything is new to them so they adapt quickly. Right?
In about 8 weeks, we will find out.
In the meantime, we start to prepare Kaya for the impending arrival. It is hard to know what she gets. How much she is taking in. Does she think that being a big sister means taking care of this odd mutant belly protruding from mommy or does she comprehend that there is a baby inside of there? A baby that is going to at some point come out. Crying. And change all of our lives.
We moved Kaya into her new bedroom and that went amazingly smooth. While it took me days to not head towards the other room first, Kaya immediately ran into her big girl room like it had been hers all along. Within a day she knew that that other room, the smaller one ,was the ‘baby’ room and she was so much better than that.
My next goal was to make her a book about our family trying to explain how she arrived and what she can expect with a new baby in the house.
I start when it was just Bal and I. Ahhhh, just the 2 of us. Good times…
Then a rhyme on adopting our dog Riley, then the decision to have our first baby. It’s all very linear and domestic don’t ya think?
Heehee, note baby-belly getting in the way of my shot!
Then a few pages on Kaya’s birth and her growing from baby to toddler. Then we have here some pages on expectations with a new baby in the family.
I finish with a page of a picture of the whole family, belly included, and several blank pages that Kaya knows we will fill up once baby arrives.
That may be her favourite part of the whole book. Those blank pages. She can’t wait to flip to the end and ask “What happened?” Oh, and the silly picture of Roo with her tongue hanging out. “Roo!!!” She squeals with delight ignoring my clever rhymes. Then she ignores our family in the photo entirely but points in glee at the lake behind us. Still, she does love the book and asks often to read the ‘family book’. Craft time can be productive for Mom’s too!
So we’re doing what we can to prepare her. Which is laughable really. Because anyone who has had a kid knows, nothing can prepare you.
Nothing can prepare you for the joy, madness, difficulty, ease, frustration, hilarity, wonder, horror, exhaustion, and energy that a baby brings.
And nothing, absolutely nothing, can prepare you for the love. Sibling love must be included in that.