Thursday, October 3, 2013

A Tale of Two Brothers

Soft spot? Still there.

Tomorrow evening, Thing 2, aka Baby Brother, aka Butch Birken, aka BB, will be three weeks old.

Thus far, LO has not yet asked when BB will be heading back to the hospital, nor has he "accidentally" pushed the baby, nor has he done more than marginal damage to my stress lobe and my overprotective cortex while over-enthusiastically patting BB on the head.

In all, LO has proven himself to be a model big brother (knock wood).

That's not to say that things have not been without a fraught moment or two.

For instance, the day after BB was born, J brought LO to the hospital to meet BB and to stay for a long visit. At some point that day, BB started crying and I asked him if he was hungry. LO, who was eating a granola bar at the time, climbed onto the bed with me and offered said granola bar to BB. It was ridiculously sweet and endearing. However, it also took several days to convince LO that BB only eats from a single source at this point, and that granola bars (or crackers or Laughing Cow cheese or bananas) are not quite appropriate fare for newborns, during which time I had to fend off LO's unsubtle generosity as he attempted to shove various foodstuffs into the baby's mouth.

Also, we are currently co-sleeping with BB (about which I lied through my teeth to our pediatrician because I've already heard her lecture and I have no intention of either co-sleeping unsafely or sitting through the "You're going to kill your child you horrible irresponsible mother" speech again). Although LO now sleeps 10 to 11 hours through the night in his very own big boy bed, he will often come join us in the wee hours of the morning.

That 5 a.m. ritual follows this pattern:
  • LO appears on my side of the bed.
  • He hands me a booger, as if to say, "I found this and I require you to dispose of it for me, Mother. I don't care that you're still basically asleep." (Seriously, the kid has now woken me up twice in this manner. It's just the loving gesture I've always dreamed of).
  • He begins to crawl into bed, at which point I will contort my body into a protective cover for the baby who is in the line of fire for flailing toddler knees and elbows.
  • LO will get himself cozily settled in between myself and J, and then proceed to turn sideways so that he and the baby each control more than 50% of the bed's real estate.
  • J falls out of bed.
Ultimately, these are good problems to have. LO wants to share with his brother, and everybody loves to cuddle in this big family. (It's just unfortunate for J that he's more likely to cuddle with the floor than his family).

While I know the current brotherly harmony we are enjoying is unlikely to last forever, I am thrilled to see how proud LO is of his little brother.

Even if I do have to protect BB from LO's better impulses.