Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Your Sister Is Not For Sale

When we decided to tell our families we were pregnant again, we knew we were going to have to tell the girls first to get them used to the idea. 

One afternoon Bob and I were playing with the girls and we decided it was now or never since family was arriving the next day and in two days time we would be announcing our news to our entire family.  We thought we would ease into it even though we foolishly believed that the girls would be anything other than overjoyed at this news.

"Em, would you like a brother or sister? " I asked as she played with a Barbie doll.

She didn't even look up.  "NO!  NO, NO, NO!"

Bob and I looked at each other.  That wasn't the reaction we were expecting.  She loves babies, she especially loves newborns.  She certainly loves her sister (okay, usually).

I tried again.  "You wouldn't like to have a baby brother or sister like Madison?  You love Madison.  Don't you think it would be fun to have another baby in the house?"

That certainly got her attention.  She threw her doll down and proceeded to bodily throw herself on the floor and start crying hysterically.

"I don't want you to get rid of Madison.  We need to keep her", she cried.

Okay, we saw the problem.

She thought we were getting rid of Madison.  During this whole scenario Madison is just alternating playing with a doll and watching us. That is until she heard her name and her sister started crying.  Then, she started to get upset. Em is her hero.  Em is the first person she calls for when she awakens in her crib and wherever her sister is you can guarantee Madison is trailing not far behind.

Bob and I rushed to reassure the both of them that Madison was indeed not going anywhere.  This convincing was like trying to ride up a neverending hill where no matter how fast or hard you pedaled you couldn't really get anywhere.  The only thing it got you was out of breath.

After several minutes of hugging them and assuring both of them (even though Madison didn't really understand anything other than we had upset her favorite person in the world with just a few words) that we loved them and no one was going anywhere, they started to calm down.

That conversation was tabled for the time being.  Who knew the thought of a new baby would be such a land mine in the mind of our three year old?  That night there was extra cuddle time at bedtime and we made sure extra dinosaur hugs and kisses were doled out.


The next day I tried again.  This time I reminded Emily of how Madison had grown in Mommy's belly and eventually she was born and came home to be part of our family.  Emily interjected at one point, "Oh, so we wouldn't go get a baby at the baby store (this is what she calls Babies R' Us)".

"Ugh, no.  That's not how it works, baby."

Then, I asked her and Madison if they would like to have a baby brother or sister who would be a baby just like they once were. They could help Mommy change its diapers and sing to the baby and tell the baby stories.

Emily finally seemed to grasp that we were asking if she wanted another baby brother or sister in addition to Madison.  We were not going to the baby store and exchanging her sister for a new model.  That she was fine with and she was even excited by the prospect of someone else to boss around.  Madison was okay with it as long as her sister was and seemed to like how the word "baby" rolled off her tongue.  In fact, it became her new favorite word.

The whole time I was trying to explain all this to our children, all I could think about was how this trying to find the right words that a toddler could understand is hard work. 

I should have foreseen that when it came time to tell them it was going to be a boy it was going to cause some major drama once again. Once again I fumbled with the right words and got it wrong.  Way wrong.  There were tears.  That is a whole other story for a whole other day. 

22 comments:

Buckeroomama said...

Oh, congratulations!!! SO happy for you. :)

Not that we're planning to have #3, but I was testing the waters with Z and asked her if she wanted to have a baby brother or a baby sister and she promptly told me that she doesn't want any baby brother or sister. That was that. 8S

Shell said...

Oh, that is so cute! It's funny how kids take things some times!

Congrats!

Katie @ On the Banks of Squaw Creek said...

That's too cute! And congrats!

Mrs.Mayhem said...

How sweet that she was so upset with the thought of "returning" her little sister. I wonder how many kids would have been thrilled with that thought??

Congrats on your little boy!

JDaniel4's Mom said...

I am so glad she wants to keep her sister. I bet she will adore the new baby too.

Thanks for stopping by.

blueviolet said...

Eventually she will be the one who can elicit the BIGGEST smiles out of her new baby brother!

Joey @ Big Teeth and Clouds said...

It's really nice that she doesn't want to trade her sister in on a new model. That's love!

Liz said...

This post reminds me of the Olivia episode when she tells the kids at home a tip how if their parents ask them if they want a baby brother or sister, it doesn't mean they'll get what they ask for!

The Drama Mama said...

What a cute story, and I know. I'm such a bad bloggy friend. But, congratulations on having a boy this go around. No matter how they reacted, everyone will love him despite themselves.

Joy@TPMG said...

I have to find that Olivia episode for Emily! I know once her brother arrives she will love helping out just like with Madison. I'm glad though that she has come around to actually liking the idea though.

Lourie said...

Oh how funny! Kids are awesome.

Emmy said...

Well at least you know she really likes her sister :)

misssrobin said...

Congratulations. I hope the rest of your pregnancy goes without event.

You sure had it tough breaking the news. And then again? I imagine you're nervous to tell them anything new now. Maybe a Xanax next time to get you through.

Kimberly said...

It's funny how they get confused about these kind of things. And so sweet that she loves her sister so much!

Surely, she'll love her brother that much too!

alison said...

wow...you have a couple of deep thinkers there...with my older kids, the news of an impending baby mostly brought a brief grin and 'cool.' and then they'd go back to their playtime...;) just visiting from sits...hope you have a wonderful day.

blessings,

alison
stuff and nonsense

Grace Adams said...

Congratulations on your SITS day and on your new little one. Your title made me laugh because I think my oldest really would have sold her younger sister.

Kristi said...

So cute! I love the way kids' brains work...most times.

Sharon said...

This is so cute. When baby Nate came home this week 2 year-old Caitlin (today is her bday) looked at him strangely. After we kept telling her it was baby Nate, and she had a death grip on my neck. She looked oddly from mommy to the baby and you could see her trying to figure out the whole thing. She thought grandma (me) was the person to cling to and took about an hour to get close to Nate.

Marie said...

Ahhh congratulations. What are the age differences between your 2 girls?

Adrian's Crazy Life said...

That is funny. It's funny the things kids see things. I had my son convinced he was a midget. He was asking me the difference between a midget and a dwarf and I told him that midgets were people less than 4'10". I neglected to say ADULTS under 4'10". Months later, I heard him referring to himself as a midget and went to correct him and he said "Mom, but I AM under 4'10" so that means I'm a midget" #facepalm #motheroftheyear

Marilenn @ StudioAlcantara.Com said...

Happy SITS Day!

That is a hilarious/heartbreaking story! The things kids think :D

CK said...

Isn't it funny how children comprehend the world! Puts a whole new spin on things. I love that she call's Babies 'R Us the baby store ;)

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