Okay, so we will be welcoming our third child come January 2017. I am very excited, especially since I have always wanted three. I don’t know why, maybe because I was a part of a three sibling family, maybe because I didn’t feel “done” after two. Regardless, my wishes came true. And I would think that with my third I would feel like it’s old hat at this point. I do know that it will be difficult to juggle three, but my mom did it, so I can learn too, can’t I? All of that aside, I have new fears that have come into play. Not the baby fears, that would include what to do when the baby cries or when to take them to the doctor. No, these fears are if my other two will accept this new little one as a part of the family.
My two older children are 5 and 3. My husband and I knew we wanted to keep them as close in age as possible, so I guess 4 and 6 years apart isn’t too terrible. (We didn’t want to be “out of practice” either.) Lately, however, I have been really watching my other two. How they interact, play, talk, deal with emotions, share. They are so good at it now, especially since my youngest is now three. They play really well together, they like making up games together, they apologize to each other, do nice things for each other. It’s amazing to watch, which is probably why they sometimes catch me just staring at them while this is all going on. And then I immediately think: what happens when we add another, younger one to the mix? How will they react? Will they include the baby once it’s old enough to interact with them? Will they be patient with it until it gets to that point?
After I run through all of these, I then try to remember how my eldest was with my youngest. Yes, they were closer in age, so they were closer in developmental stages. But for the life of me, I can’t remember how they were together. Maybe it’s mommy brain, or I blocked it out because I was so tired all the time (oh joy, that again!), but I can’t remember how it went when they were little. I can only see the now, which is that they are awesome together, and they get along, and they are little buddies. And how will a new baby change that?
I know there isn’t much I can do to change it right now. This baby is coming no matter what. I am excited, nervous, and anxious about how it will all pan out for us. Will my two kids be little assholes to the baby? Or will they love it and appreciate it just as much as I will? Will they include the baby in their games or ignore it because it’s younger and can’t do what they do? Sigh. I’ve got 6 more months to come up with a way that I can help my kids understand how important it is to include others and to love their little brother or sister. Or just wait, hope and pray.