By Tracy M
My two-year old, Eric, is worrying me. Well, maybe worry isn’t the right word- causing consternation? Here’s the deal- In only a matter of weeks, the dynamic of our family will be changing again, as we welcome baby #3, our maybe-girl into the world. And while I want to shout and cheer and do an awkward and unsightly pregnant dance for joy at the fact I will no longer be barfing, my littlest one is simply not ready to be displaced.
I need help. I need advice on how to prepare him, what to do, how to make him feel ok about the whole thing. My four-year-old, Jeffrey, is beside himself with excitement and can’t wait for baby to be here- possibly because my mom keeps telling him he gets to go to Disneyland ‘after the baby comes’, but regardless- he is thrilled. He was happy when his brother was born too, though, and has always liked babies. He is kind and gentle and caring with children smaller than him, (which is good because he is a moose and most of his friends and classmates are smaller anyway).
Ah, but Eric is another story. A few Sunday’s ago, when I was holding a friends’ baby at church, he tried to bite her on the head. This is not new- any time I hold another baby, he is physical and tries to hit, pull or otherwise maim said baby. We have tried all the things we did with Jeffrey to teach him to be gentle, with no success. We got him a baby doll, and while he likes to play with it, he is ‘physical’ and likes to throw her and shoot her with his “laser-shooter” (a mystery spot on his wrist that blows things up, in his world). We have spent a great deal of time talking about the baby in my tummy, and how she will be here soon- We have talked up the whole “big brother” thing, even getting him a shirt with that claim to fame. He’s a physical and fearless kid, and I am out of ideas on ways to make this more comfortable for him.
Jeffrey never worried me when Eric came along, but I am concerned now, both for Eric’s ability to acclimate to a new family dynamic, and for the safety of a tiny, helpless newborn. Anyone with any sage advice or experience on this, please chime in!
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