Naively, when I was pregnant with Spike I thought that my very easy going, 21 month old toddler would be ecstatic to have a baby brother.
For the first 18 months of his life the Hubby worked away so Spud was constantly being left with just his Mummy and we had (still have) a cracking relationship. Taking that into account it makes me really proud to say that I can easily leave him for two weeks with the Grandparents and that he runs into Creche knowing that I don’t stay. I have a Mummy’s boy who is also strong, independent and secure. When I was 20 weeks pregnant we moved and started living with the Hubby full time. Spud thought it was great and he has so much fun with his Daddy, it also meant that he was a lot less clingy to me when he hurt himself and at times where he wanted cuddles, like when he was tired. We were a lot closer to extended family so saw them more often which Spud thought was great because Nana and Pops are the bees knees! We had a great thing going on…
Add a baby to the mix and you get this:
Spud was NOT happy. He visited me in hospital and was so curious and loving with his baby brother, I was thrilled. He wasn’t thrilled when the baby came home with me! He was even less thrilled when the baby went to visit his Nana and Pops. He wasn’t treated differently by anybody. I still had one on one time with him, doing everything that he loved and I was so adamanat that people weren’t even allowed to look at the baby until they had spoken to Spud that quite often Spike got left in the corner! To Spud this didn’t matter, he ignored anybody that was holding the baby, it was as if he was looking straight through the person, pretending they weren’t even there!
Back at our home things were easier with just the four of us and he did have some lovely moments where he would give the baby a cuddle or give him his dummy but it was very much on his terms. If he didn’t want to he made damn sure that we knew about it! It made having two children a lot harder because I was totally split between them.
Over the weeks Spud got used to the fact that Spike wasn’t going anywhere. We caught him giving him the evil eye like he is plotting something but so far Spike has survived the wrath of his big brother. Not that he ever noticed that Spud had an intense dislike for him, Spike has always been in total awe of his big brother and probably always will be.
6 months down the line and we have a very loving, helpful big brother. If he is tired or clingy then it is still very much on his terms and to get photos of them together either has to be done in stealth mode or with chocolate bribery.
I know that our age gap will be amazing when they are older and every day it gets better but I really wasn’t prepared for the early days and the possibility that it wouldn’t all be plain sailing!