At the time, I turned to the world's greatest resource -- mom friends with more than one child -- and this is what they told me: "Just as beautiful as loving your own child is watching your children love each other. Oh, and sometimes they will fight and hate each other, too." The truth is that somehow we, as parents, stretch and grow to do everything (including love) with two -- and our children do, too. And for every minute of one-on-one parent time that Junius got, Pippi gets the bonus of one-on-one time with an awesome brother.
For my many friends having second babies, here are some things to look forward to... My list of five things I love about Junius as a big brother:
- When Pippi was a newborn, Junius loved to bring his toys over to her so she could "play" with him. This basically meant he piled his cars and trucks on top of her while she sat there (see photo). Although she couldn't really participate, I loved that a) he wanted to engage with her in such a sweet way and b) it kept them both entertained for a few minutes.
- More recently, we've been teaching Pip to use the potty. When she goes, her favorite part is calling for Juni so she can show him what's in the potty (as she says, looking awestruck, "biiiiiig poop") and watching him clap and cheer for her. It's become a full-family event.
- They love hiding together -- in the play tent, under the kitchen table, even tucked behind the corner. Junius usually starts it by inviting her in, then she happily ducks into his hiding space where they proceed to giggle until someone "finds" them.
- Because they've been at the same preschool for the past two years, they get to see each other occasionally on the playground. Pippi's class plays in the fenced-in baby areas, so Junius makes a point of coming over to visit -- makes her feel very important.
- The big win-win-win of the big brother is the early mornings. If Junius wakes up early, followed closely by the Pip, sometimes he'll go into her room and chat with her or pretend to read books to her. He likes having an audience, she likes being entertained, and Mommy and Daddy like getting an extra 10 minutes before facing the day.