sisters.

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Eliza loves Sadie so much it hurts... sometimes literally. I spend half of the day trying to convince her to "give Sadie space," and the other half of the day feeling guilty for suppressing her love for her sister. I'm trying to learn to wait and see if Eliza's affection actually upsets Sadie before I call off the love fest. Eliza loves with such ferocity, it's terrifying. Her favorite thing to do is squeeeeeeze the baby. And, if I ask her not to, she will sneak a squeeze on her foot or arm or whatever appendage is not being shielded by me. And, she squeezes hard! (We are working on that.)

Everyone keeps asking me how Eliza is doing with the new baby. The sister love train has been a roller coaster of a ride so far, although mostly a pleasant one. I feel grateful that Eliza loves babies so much to begin with, and even more grateful that "our baby" lived up to her expectations. "Our Baby" is what she called Sadie for the first few weeks. 

When we brought Sadie home, Eliza was in heaven. She was also in heaven, because she basically got to do whatever she wanted for a few weeks while Sam was off work and we were all recovering. She watched insane amounts of TV, and we were all spoiled with treats from friends. If you have a child, you know that taking it easy is the best... until it's not. Too much tv and treats creates a monster child. So, yeah, she was pretty moody and threw plenty of tantrums for awhile. But, over the past month or so, we have started to see some semblance of a regular routine and so the monster has mellowed out.

During those first weeks, I was always happy and relieved to tell people, "Eliza is doing ok. She has a hard time sometimes with all of the change, but I don't feel like she blames it on the baby." She really didn't. She would have plenty of difficult moments, and we talked a lot about how "things are different now." She once said that the house is different, referring to the fact that it is a cluttered mess these days. (Eliza has a hard time with messy.) She was definitely having a hard time, but was always loving towards the baby. It wasn't until one day when the baby was crying and I walked in the room to find Eliza putting a pillow over Sadie's face, that I realized how much it was getting to her. I had to try really hard not to show how completely freaked out I was, when I explained to her that doing that was definitely not ok and very dangerous. She was only trying to get the baby to stop crying, but that sight is etched into my mind. When the baby cries, it can put us both on edge. We both get snappy and short, and I would be embarrassed to go into detail on the poor parenting decisions I've made during those times. One thing that has helped is to kind of bond over the fact that the crying is hard. When Sadie cries we look at each other and say, "Ah! It's so loud!" while being forgiving of the fact that she's just a baby. It's worked here and there.

Eliza is a very good helper. She throws away diapers, and fetches things for me when my arms are full of baby. I have trained her how to put Sadie's pacifier back in her mouth, and sometimes she can sort of entertain the baby for a bit if I can't get there fast enough. I have also come to realize how independent Eliza is. So many things that I used to do for her, she is perfectly happy and capable of doing herself. Sometimes she will get upset, but sometimes the realization that she can do it on her own is exciting.

Sadie has learned to prepare herself for an Eliza attack. She steels herself, wide-eyed and a bit shaky, if she sees that wild mass of hair approach. And, I've noticed that Sadie gets her little baby vengeance, when I find long strands of Eliza's hair in her fists. Eliza loves to hold her. She knows to run and sit in the corner of the couch with the pillows, so we can lay her in her arms. Eliza loves to talk to her. She gets right up in her face and chatters away in a little girl's imitation of adult baby talk. Eliza already has a high voice, so when she mimics our high-pitched baby talk it's kind of comical. "Hi, Sadie." "You're so squishy, Sadie! Little Marshmallow." "Do you want a toy? Here you go. Take it. Take it. Here, hold it in your hand!" And, she loves to kiss her- sometimes sticking her own face into the baby carrier to kiss the top of her head, or sometimes squeezing her face between her hands to plant a big one.

It took her awhile to understand that Sadie can't do anything at all. Like, nothing. I think that might have been a bit of a disappointment. She loves to play with our friends' babies, who are all a few months old and can respond somewhat. Sadie just lays there. And cries. A lot. "Oh, Sadie. Sadie stop crying!" "Sadie, it's me! Your sister!" But, sometimes Sadie allows Eliza to get up in her face without screaming, or she lets her insert that pacifier in her mouth at a critical moment. And then, Eliza gets this little glow on her face like she achieved a tiny morsel of affection and connection with her sister. 

I am so excited for these sisters. I am so happy that they have each other. Eliza goes into detail every day about what she wants to do with Sadie, and what she wants to teach her or share with her. I am so looking forward to seeing these two grow together.

2 comments:

  1. Huge smile on my face!!! What a wonderful adventure they are embarking on together!! I'm crazy about these girls!!!

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