When my daughter met her baby brother in hospital, her first words were ‘this means you don’t need to nap anymore’ – quickly followed by – ‘have you got another baby in your belly because it’s still so big?’)
(Everyone’s a critic, huh?)
It was then that I realised how much her life had already changed. I’d been so worried about her reaction to meeting bub for the first time that I hadn’t thought about what she’d had to adjust to already. To her my pregnancy had meant I hadn’t been able to be the Mummy I had before. I couldn’t race her in the park, give her piggybacks home from the shops, or crawl around on the floor looking for monsters. The arrival of her baby brother heralded a return to all those things.
Meeting bub for the first time wasn’t a fraught time full of the jealousy and upset I had predicted. Instead, it was a relief that he had arrived and she had her mum back. Except it wouldn’t be as simple as that because, whilst I was able to run and sit on the floor and push her on the roundabout again (obviously not immediately but try explaining stitches to a three year old), there would always be someone else she’d have to share the fun, the games and my attention with. My daughter saw the arrival of bub as the end of the changes but it is, in fact, just the beginning.
And so there have been a few sulks when I haven’t been able to be at her immediate beck and call. There was also a bit of a poking incident on day four. But now her baby brother is the first thing she asks about when she wakes up (closely followed by Paw Patrol) and he is all she wants to talk about with strangers, so we thought she was doing OK.
That she had adjusted.
Then, a couple of nights ago before bed, she whispered ‘I miss Mummy and me days’.
It broke my heart a little because I miss them too. So this week I took some time out from feeding and winding and nappy changing to take my daughter to the cinema, just the two us. We ate too much popcorn, drank too much pop and one of us may have fallen a teeny bit asleep (spoiler – it was me). But my favourite part was halfway through the film when she leaned in and said ‘Mummy I miss F—‘.