Rachel at 3 1/2 is already a big sister. However, with this baby that is coming soon (33 days or so!), she has really taken the role to heart. She practices with her baby doll how to help with the new baby, she constantly talks about what she will do to help… this is the brief list of things she wants to help/participate with:
* bring new cloth diaper when baby needs a clean diaper
* burp the baby/bring burp cloth when baby spits up
* give baby pacifier if crying
* play with Eli if Mommy is feeding the baby and Eli wants attention too
* give baby bottles (I tried delicately to explain that would happen very often, she bluntly told me I could “put some milk in a bottle” for her to give the baby)
* and, there’s many others… these are the most frequently mentioned.
This morning we took her to a sibling class at the hospital where we will deliver. They read books, watched a little cartoon, colored a “welcome baby” card and talked about some of the upcoming changes before the break. After the break, we got to take them to see a post-partum room where Mommy and baby will be, and also they got to look in the baby nursery and see teeny tiny babies as up close and personal as I’m guessing any in that class of 3-5 year olds remembers!
When we returned to the class to practice some helpful things with baby dolls, Rachel almost started to cry. “What’s wrong”, we asked, especially in light of the fact that she seemed to be enjoying herself immensely, and had had no problems with shyness to that point. “I want our baby to come out now!”, she says. Oh dear… did not anticipate that at all! I think in our preparations and discussions trying to get them ready for all of the changes, we completely neglected to think that they would be getting just as anxious and excited about the upcoming birth as we are! I am glad she’s excited… it’s definitely better than the alternative! 🙂
We practiced a few things with baby dolls like diapering, helping put socks on feet, etc… In my opinion, the most helpful part for me was when the kids had to try to put different toys through a toilet paper roll. If it fit through, it was deemed “too small” for babies to play with, and it means that kind of toy needs to be kept put away. If it didn’t fit, it was okay for the baby to have (obviously, there could be flaws with this… still wouldn’t want a baby chewing on a bottle of glue, for example…). Overall, a good idea for me. The instructor suggested each child in the house decorating their own roll to have to be on “safety patrol” to make sure the baby couldn’t reach anything that was dangerous for choking. We will probably do that.
That’s it. Nothing super deep today. I just wanted to be able to remember this class, and the fun we had. 🙂