The Big Brother


My oldest child, a beautiful 3-year-old boy, is truly a sweet, smart and unique little person. He’s kind, non-aggressive, loves his blanket and to cuddle. So when I was pregnant with my second kiddo (a now 2.5-month-old baby girl) I was sure that my son, Rowdy, would be the sweetest brother ever. I wasn’t shocked that he seemed overwhelmed and nervous at the hospital because he has a history of being bashful. There were lots of people in a small room where his mommy was on a hospital bed. That’s no fun for a little guy like him. Then the first time he saw her after the hospital she cried (of course), so he cried. I figured he would quickly come around when we got home, but that didn’t seem to happen. He acted nervous and bashful toward her, just like he acted toward all other strangers. She was, to him, a stranger, after all. He mostly ignored her, and certainly didn’t want to touch her, much less hold her. My hormones were still MAJORLY affecting my emotions. I cried a lot, mostly concerning Rowdy. I worried about his happiness. I was sad that he wasn’t excited about baby Romy. And more than anything, I was mourning the end of his only child chapter. I suddenly realized that he and I would do less things alone together, and that made me sad. But at the same time I was in love with my new baby girl. It was a crazy first couple of weeks, emotion-wise. But thankfully, it gradually got easier and my hormones began to calm the hell down. And even though I felt better and we were a generally happy and healthy household, Rowdy still wasn’t having much to do with Romy. It bothered me, but I was too busy to harp on it, which was probably a good thing. As the weeks went by, Rowdy would say more sweet things about the baby like, “aww, baby” and “needs bottle” when she cried. But the pivotal moment came just 2 days before Romy turned 2-months-old. My husband was sitting in a chair holding baby Romy when Rowdy suddenly walked up to them, touched Romy’s head gently and said, “beautiful” several times. My eyes got huge as my husband looked to me to make sure I was seeing what he was seeing. Then my husband, Ryan, told Rowdy, “Romy needs a kiss” and he kissed her head. Well sure enough, Rowdy followed suit and kissed her on the head 3 times. We were in absolute shock. This child didn’t even want to touch her the day before, and now he was kissing her head?! It was a beautiful moment that Ryan and I will never forget. We’re so lucky that we have gotten to witness so many incredible moments with our kids together (I mean, we managed to get Rowdy to take his first steps with Ryan watching from out of town via Skype – fate). Ever since that day, Rowdy has shown lots of love toward his new sister, and this mom couldn’t be happier. Witnessing this little person that has been our world for several years accept and love this new little person in our lives is most certainly the coolest part of this ride so far. Sure, he made us wait a couple of months, but those first 2 months of a new baby’s life are such a hectic, exhausting blur anyway, right?

I wanted to share this story to bring hope to any new parents out there that are going through something similar to what we went through. The disappointment and heartbreak I felt over this issue was no fun. And it proves that you just never know how your older kiddo is going to react to a new sibling. Even a sensitive child like mine wasn’t nurturing at all for a while. But the good news is that he came around (Rowdy does most things in his own time) and shows promise for a lifelong sibling relationship full of fun and love.

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