In preparation for the baby coming, we’ve been reading a lot of books about the good and bad of baby brothers/sisters. We want to prepare her, if we can, for the fact that life with a baby might not always be rosy.
A lot of these stories also deal with Mommy and Daddy going to the hospital for a while. Almost universally, Grandma and Grandpa come to stay with the older sibling for a while.
I was never really sure how much of an impact these were making on my daughter. I know they were starting to remind me of all the not-so-rosy moments when there’s a baby around. But I wasn’t sure about her.
Oh, there were occasional glimpses, like when she’d tell us, “If I see my baby brother put something in his mouth, I.. I.. I tell mommy and daddy!”. Or, “Sometimes babies pull your hair.” Or other nuggets of wisdom.
But I think the one that impressed me the most was when I picked her up from daycare yesterday, and I could see her logical thought process, and see she was trying to put two and two together:
Me: Guess who’s coming today?
Me: Nona and Grandad!
Daughter: Yay! … Is my baby brother coming out today?
I don’t have a lot of experience with 3 year olds. Well, I didn’t before I had one. But it impressed me that she associated grandparents coming to visit with a baby being born.
Of course, with Nona and Grandad being many hours away, there’s no guarantee they will be here when it is time. We have some options, but we hate to impose on friends, should the baby come at, say, 2am.
That is why we are meeting with some Post-partum Doulas, who, in addition to helping out new moms in many ways after childbirth, will also provide some child care, if necessary, uhm, in-partum? We prefer not to have to use one, but we want something in place should we need it.