Sunday, February 15, 2009

Big Sister

Annika's daily life is filled with thoughts being a big sister. I don't talk about it a lot or focus on it with her because it is so far away and I don't want the waiting to be any harder on either of us than it has to be. I think were at least 9 months away. I don't ignore it either....its a major life event and we need to prepare appropriately, but I want Annika's life to go on unencumbered by a long, tedious and often stressful process. We prepare for our family to grow. I tell her of the landmarks....our paper work is finished for now or an important paper came in the mail, but I don't dwell on it regularly. We celebrate the big steps. (Actually, I don't really mind the wait...i do mind the delays...but the wait is ok for now...its part of the process to get to our next family member, my second daughter. I just don't want to make it more stressful for Annika.) On the other hand, Annika has embraced her future role and we discuss it often. She has already involved the next child in the fabric of our lives. At each meal she asks, will my sister like this food? Where will she sit? Will I help feed her? She brings old toys in and tells me she is now too big for them and the baby can have them. The baby already has a toy bus, a 2 wheeler, a tricycle, and a phonics bus! When we are shopping she wants to shop for clothes the baby. (So do I, but I resist at this point!) Annika begins many sentences with "when i am a big sister I will...." She also reports, as she does her big girl tasks, "My sister won't be able to do this because it is too big for her." Her teacher reports that this excitement bubbles over into school too. She is realistic. She knows that it will not be all fun, asking "what if my sister pulls my hair or pinches me?" She smiles with relief when I tell her we will say, "No, no baby, please be gentle with your big sister." "What if she doesn't stop?" she asks. "Then I will come and move her away for you," I say. These conversations seem to work out many issues in her mind and give her a clearer picture of where we are heading. She even asks, "What if I yell at my sister?"I love that she is thinking so deeply about it and cares so much about the relationship already. I am glad she is happy and excited. I hope the energy doesn't wear off with a lengthy wait. Annika tells me she is already a sister and the baby is born and she will be home this year. It all remains to be seen, but she surely seems ready as she tells me "I love my sister already!" Sounds so familiar. She echoes what is in my heart.

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