Wednesday, October 17, 2012

"What about me?"

With his head cocked back and his little hands reaching over my growing bump, Blake asked me that question. From the living room Evan yelled, "We're going to be hearing that a lot more once the baby gets here!"

Time froze. And just like you see in the movies, Blake's question, "What about me?" echoed in my mind several times.

What will happen to Blake once this new baby arrives? How wonderful it would be if we walk in our front door and Blake embraces this baby with open arms and never looks back. But let's be realistic:

Blake has had all of our attention for 2 and a half years. My whole life revolves around Blake. His schedule is my schedule. But that's going to change rather abruptly come Thanksgiving. And how do you explain that to a 2 and a half year old?

I think what I fear most is that Blake will feel less loved as a result of this new baby. That he'll retreat to his room one day wondering, "Why doesn't Mom love me anymore?" Maybe his thought processes aren't that advanced. Still, his "What about me?" question was enough to make me cry as I walked home from the grocery store on Saturday. (Well that, and being an incredibly emotional pregnant woman).

And while it will be a difficult transition for all of us once this yet-to-be named baby boy arrives, I do truly believe Blake will benefit from having a sibling. I love my siblings and can't imagine what life would be like without them. And the home videos my parents have of my siblings and me wouldn't be nearly as hilarious if it was just me in them.

Obviously there's no turning back. This baby is coming. Blake will be a big brother. We will be parents of 2 children very soon. And if the stack of parenting books on my night stand is any indication of my perceived lack of parenting skills, there's a good chance Blake is going to feel lost in the shuffle of all this baby stuff. But hopefully everything will work itself out and Blake and baby #2 will be best buds before we know it.

Or at least they won't kill each other.


Lindsay said...

He will adjust -- some days because he wants to, but ultimately because he has to. You will be surprised by how much love you have to go around to all of your children. At least I was surprised. When Garrett was my one and only, it was hard to imagine room for any more. But now that Caleb and Matthew are here it's easy to see how much room there really is. There will be struggles, of course, with everyone's ability to dole out the attention evenly, especially in the beginning. Take the time to give Blake individual attention every now and then to remind him that you haven't forgotten him, and give him special jobs to help to help with the baby so he feels like he's a valued part of his growing family (which he of course is!). I know it's hard to imagine now (at least it was for me before Caleb was born) how your first will ever adjust from being an only child to a sibling, but I think you'll surprised at how quickly he forgets what life was like when it revolved around only him. And I know you'll do great helping him through the transition. :)

Jennifer Harris said...

The guilt over the dethronement of Scarlett was the hardest thing about baby #2 for me. I was completely unprepared for it. The first two months were hard, there were a lot (A LOT) of times where she was on the floor screaming and crying while I fed Desmond. Once he hit two months though, we pretty much resumed our normal schedule and started going to the playgroups, she started a preschool co-op...which you should totally do with some of the moms in your ward or something. You may think that its too much with a newborn (and in a way it is), but it is SO worth having Scarlett somewhere else anxiously engaged in learning and playing. Our group has 5 kids, so I only teach once every five weeks and then the other four weeks, she's at someone else's house from 9-12 on Tuesday and Thursday.

Anyway, point is, it will be rough. Those early days, especially. I remember one night in between heaving tears (post-partum hits me pretty hard) telling Wes that we had ruined her life by having Desmond and that she was never going to be the sweet little girl she had been before he was born...she was forever altered. Which she was, but it wasn't as bleak and horrible as it felt in that moment. There are some really sweet moments where she plays peek-a-boo with him and makes him giggle. She worries about where he is and what he's doing all the time. I imagine sweet moments like that only get more frequent they older they get, too. I just tell myself how great siblings are and how much lifelong joy and support they bring to each other's lives.

Whew! That was long! Can you tell I've had some build up thoughts and anxieties over this?!

vdg family said...

One day, Whitney, you'll be standing in line at the grocery store and some stranger will try to tickle your new one and Blake will stand up and say something loudly (to intimidate the stranger to stand back) and for that moment you'll be thinking, "Wow! Yay for big brother, Blake!" Or you'll have a moment where you know, you know that Blake needed/loved the little fellow more than he knew. And then you'll know it's all worth it, again. :) That's what happened to us and R could talk nowhere near as well as Blake.