No, we’re not that blessed just yet. The Shield Maiden is only two months old so I’m not disappointed in this fact either (yet).
No, recently I read an article over on Carrots for Michaelmas about preparing an older sibling for the birth of a new baby. While all of the ideas are lovely, I take a much simpler approach to the situation: we do nothing. Nothing extra, that is. I’ll explain.
When I was expecting my second child, our pediatrician was very insistent that we needed to prepare our oldest for the upcoming birth and new baby. I think that, perhaps because I am from a large family, and had seen how this generally plays out, I didn’t really take him seriously, and I’m glad I didn’t. He offered us books for the oldest about bringing baby number two home. When I asked him, he didn’t tell me where I’d be able to get books for baby number five about bringing baby number six home later. He meant well, but was clearly out of his depth when it came to large families.
You see, most of the things he wanted us to do presupposed that we’d have no idea of what to do and also that we’d be spacing our children and stopping after a couple. We weren’t doing either of those. Having our children close together seems to have alleviated all of those problems. The kids are too young to realize that they are “supposed” to be jealous. Even now though, with my two and a half year old and my two month old, she is growing up in a family where we welcome babies and has had a wonderful example set for her of her older siblings. They were excited for the new baby, so she was excited for the new baby as well.
In a family where having babies is a pretty regular occurrence, we’re used to getting used to new ones. We’re used to explaining to big siblings that they need to be quiet and gentle and loving. We’re used to dealing with the occasional tantrum that may erupt when Mommy’s time is being taken up with a new little one. And we’re used to the fact that, no matter how many babies there are in a family, a new one is always exciting and that excitement is contagious.
Most of the time, at least. There’s always the exception to the rule, and for that instance, perhaps a little more planning is in order. For my family, though, doing nothing more than talking to the toddlers and the big kids, and getting them excited about a new life joining the family is enough.
Oh, and check out Haley’s blog, Carrots for Michaelmas. It’s fun and entertaining, such a treat.
Linked at Catholic Bloggers Network