Having a little sister can be rough. Suddenly, for the first time in your whole life (4 years!) you’re suddenly NOT the center of attention. You don’t have an immediate response to every question, you don’t have the ability to show your Mama every. single. little. thing that you’ve created or destroyed in your toy box. It’s hard to handle what appears to be the stark contrast of attention that you were used to.
In reality, your parents tried to ease you into it. Mom didn’t allow you to interrupt the making of dinner to call her to the stairs to see how you’ve arranged your cars. You had to learn to peel your own stickers (!!!!!) without help, with a side of teeth gnashing, and Daddy started putting his foot down months ago to prove to you that yes, you could put on your own pants. It’s been really frustrating to learn all these new self-entertaining “skills.”
Now that baby sister has arrived, you’re feeling the punch. Those easing techniques that Mama and Daddy have been working with you on for six months are now mandatory. And you hate it. You don’t like to play by yourself, and the longest you’ve ever done something by yourself is 20 minutes.
It’s hard. And Mama notices. Even though she’s nursing sister and desperately trying to quell her screams during the witching hour, you’re still clamoring for attention. You don’t want to give up the routine you’ve developed for yourself and share time with this new sibling. Although you are incredibly proud of her, and want to help at every turn, there are still times that it makes you sad. Bedtime is one of those times. Even though peeling yourself away from toys and heading to the bath is never something you want to do, you secretly love having some parent time to yourself, reading new books, picking out PJs and brushing the “sugar bugs” from your teeth.
Nowadays you can even read a simple, repeating book to Mama yourself, and that’s really cool. But when baby sister starts crying in the middle of the story? Or Mama is carrying her to your bed to give you a goodnight kiss? Not cool. You ask Mama to hand her to Daddy so you can have a great, big two-armed hug and plant a kiss right on her face. Then, Daddy gets his turn at that beloved ritual. Most nights you ask to kiss baby sister yourself and give her a goodnight hug, but when the lights dim to your “fishes” nightlight and turtle ceiling stars, it’s hard to stay in the bed. You creep out into the hallway for one more hug, one more sip of water, or to inform Mama that “These are my ankles. Do you see them?” as baby sister is being put to bed. When you’re chastised back to bed with “blankies on top,” you proclaim your love for Mama and Daddy as a simple, heart breaking defense. “But I just love you!”
It’s really frustrating that you have to share the spotlight as well as your parent’s time. Maybe it even feels unfair? But you don’t remember that you had those baby moments with Mama. Times when Daddy bottle fed you and all that one-on-one time up until this point. They still love you more than your four-year-old brain can comprehend. You will always be their little boy, even though it’s hard as hell sharing time with your baby sister.
Don’t forget to always ask to be kissed goodnight. For an extra minute before Mama’s run to “hold me in baby sister’s big chair with blankies on top” and to take selfies for ten minutes and review them with laughter. To always have those special “me” moments. To be okay with not having “all family time” all the time; it’s okay to want some one-on-one. Always remind Mama and Daddy that you love them. Because just as the laundry piles up and the floor needs to be vacuumed with a baby, big boys need some special time, too.