Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Changes in the wind...

Elsa for three and a half years has been the youngest in the family. All summer, along with the rest of her siblings had been awaiting the arrival of her adorable niece who finally made her show - the day after her oldest aunt left to fly the great ocean to beautiful Ireland. Like all of her siblings, Elsa could not wait to journey to her older sister's house to see this newest member of the family that she had on occasion had the opportunity to both see, and feel, rumbling about in her mother's tummy.

But most of my readers already know of the momentous event, but what only a handful of you know, is that Elsa has also been awaiting the arrival of another member of the family - in this case - another sibling who is due sometime in January. That's right I will be vying with Jennie of Far Beyond Pearls as to who will deliver first as we are both due at about the same time. Myself - I have my money on Jennie delivering first.

But I digress. Getting back to the arrival of Elsa's first niece. We pulled up outside of Jenny's home and piled out, balloons and treats in hand. Elsa, carried along with the excited momentum of the day rushed inside with the rest of the family and stopped short at the sight of the tiny, helpless baby in her sister's arms.

For weeks, along with everyone else she had been patting my tummy and talking to her little sibling and smiling in anticipation of a new baby. But now she was seeing for real - just what this really meant. That huge bump that had been her sister's stomach for months now - was gone. And in its place was a real live baby, that everyone was cooing over and bidding for the chance to hold. Quietly Elsa left the throng of siblings surrounding little Lydia and came over to me and stared at my tummy.

She then stood a little separate from all the activity of the room and watched. The next time she spoke - she lisped and attempted to speak as if she too was just a tiny baby. Clearly - she felt threatened by this new realization. In a few months one of those live creatures would be in her kingdom and possibly, very possibly her reign as the baby princess of the house would be over.

I watched her, my heart aching for her. I think, based on my various experience of new babies joining our household, that the longer a child has held the post of baby of the family - the harder it is to accept the newer addition. The difference between Elsa and this baby will be the second largest gap with the largest one being exactly four years, to the day. The rest vary from 14 months to 20 months age difference. Over the next few days when Elsa pulled out her disguise of baby talk and faces, I chided her as to where was my beautiful little girl who was so cute and precious to me. Some would feel I was too tough on her but my experience has shown me honesty has always worked.

I told her honestly and lovingly that I loved her just as she was, that when she talked like a baby she sounded silly. I talked about the joy of babies and the joy of little girls. I would hug her and kiss her and tell her how much I loved her. Within a few days the 'baby' Elsa disappeared and my little girl came back and is once more just as excited now about the new arrival as the rest of her siblings are, if not more.

She is first in line to feel the bumps and kicks and groans with the rest of them when the baby stops moving about. I swear this baby has x-ray vision and knows when the kids are waiting a turn to feel it move.

There are many funny stories I am looking forward to sharing with you as Elsa continues to adapt these changes that are prevailing on the wind. Like when... but, no, I will save that one for another day.


Jennie C. said...

Oh, man! I didn't know it was a contest! I'm bound to lose. My babies are always late...sometimes way late. :-)

You know, when I lived in Germany, I had a friend who was available to watch my two older kids when I went to my prenatal appointments, so I took advantage. That is where our weakest bond is, between those two and Meg, and I've made it a point to avoid that mistake ever since, no matter how annoying my doctors find a roomful of kids. It's a way for them to participate in the pregnancy, listening to heartbeats and watching ultrasounds, and helps them gain a little "ownership" of the new baby. Or, in the case of Rosie who swore she was pregnant, too, I made sure that she had a baby waiting at the hospital when she came to meet Penelope. It was totally worth the $10. :-)

Cath said...

Congratulations! I wanted to congratulate you last month when you linked to your daughter's article and in the introduction to it she said there would be a 13th member of the family in January.

Dan and Janet Brungardt said...

Congratulations! What exciting news! May everything go well for you.

mum2twelve said...

Well - I don't see it a contest so much as between us - but more as a gambling opportunity for our readers! LOL

I am using a midwife this time - so I am expecting to go WAY late - to steal an expression from today's teens!

However, I do have a card up my sleeve, a small group of nuns praying for me to go into labour by myself - which would be a first....

So readers, gather the facts and place your bets!