When we brought our second child home from the hospital, our first born went into full time mothering mode. She was only two and a half...but going on 24. She just loved her brother.
She loved to be near him. She loved to help. With everything. She was great. Still is.
For a long time, her love would bubble up out of her....like when she'd hold his little hand, her hand would be gentle, but the rest of her body would wiggle and sometimes she'd grit her teeth and tense up her neck and head. Trying so very hard to be careful with him, when you could see that all she wanted to do was squeeze him as hard as she could.
Things were very normal and lovingly for a good long while. Several weeks into the game of sibling hood, she helped me lotion up her brother after his bath. There was this moment, so tender, so sweet and loving, when she leaned in really close to him and whispered in his ear,
"One day, when I push you down the steps, Daddy will give you a BIG hug!"
*the record screeched to a halt*
Cough, choke, snorkle.
We had a talk about appropriate things to do with a baby. How fragile they are, and how much care we need to give them. With all those cautions and lots of prayers, time marched on in a normal fashion.
Only from that point on, we established regular date nights with Daddy, girls only shopping trips, and other big girl things to put the focus back onto the most important person in her life. Herself.
It will be interesting to see how the dynamic shifts with this next new baby. Both kids are much older now, and I'm hoping that rivalry does not begin to rear its ugly head again.
Time will tell.