The second most common question we get asked lately (after birth and baby stats) is:
How does Zoe feel about her new little sister?
Hopefully the picture above that Holly took on Zoe’s first day back to school before she even MET Ella answers that ;)
I’m pleased to say that overwhelmingly, she’s excited and PROUD! We had no idea how she’d really feel about having a “baby” who can’t yet talk or play or, well, do anything. There’s really no way to prepare a kid for that.
But seeing Zoe’s sweet face in the hospital when she met her little sister was an absolutely beautiful experience. She was GIDDY. Guess what she wanted to do first? HOLD HER. Now, I expected this, but as the OCD mother that I am, all I can think is GERMS (or that she’s going to DROP her…)
Funny enough, the very day Zoe met Ella, her school had sent home a notice to parents that a kid in their class had Hand, Foot and Mouth disease… AHHHHHHHHH! I know, I know. Her immune system will be terrific, I suppose, with exposure to all these germs (and yes, Zoe ALWAYS washes her hands before touching Ella), but still. Newborns are so very small. It’s hard enough to watch them wriggle and cry for 42 seconds with a little gas pain. Or maybe that’s just me.
So basically our days begin and end with “Can I hold Ella now?” Zoe’s been moderately helpful with diaper changes but her promise of changing poopy diapers “with gloves” hasn’t panned out yet. Of course, there’s plenty of time for that!
Last Sunday our friends Holly & Amanda took Zoe out for a while to give us a break, and Holly gave some sage advice. Apparently Zoe confessed that she wants to HELP with the baby more. So Holly asked her HOW she wanted to help. She said “You know, I want to hold Ella while Mommy feeds her and hold Ella when she goes to sleep and hold…” You get the point. So Holly suggested some GREAT ways for Zoe to help (that might actually be helpful to Mom and Dad) like offer Mom some water while she’s feeding Ella. Offer to bring fresh diapers or a clean blanket, etc.
Now, Zoe didn’t come right home and do those things yet, BUT I decided I’d make more of an effort to ASK her for help, so she could feel involved. And she has definitely done that :) We have also tried to make more Zoe Time at the end of the day for snuggling on the sofa or playing board games or going for a “family walk” in our new stroller, which has a spot for Zoe to sit WITH Ella (she loves it).
As the days pass, Zoe’s getting a little less interested in what Ella’s doing (and a little more interested in what we’re doing – or not doing – with her). So, I’m pretty sure we’re not out of the woods yet. But for now, she LOVES her little sister and will tell anyone who will listen all about her.
Check out what she told her class about her new little sister:
(Sorry for the low quality video… In case you can’t hear, she’s telling them about her sister’s “special poop”, the black tarry meconium that infants have before their first “real” poops.)
See? PROUD BIG SISTER ;) Please send your tips for the “Transition to Two” – we clearly need them!