Bringing Up Brothers
It's been a long time since I've posted anything in the baby blog, but I'm hoping for a little forgiveness, being that I now have 2 kids – a toddler and a newborn – to care for! Yes, our latest addition, Ricker, was born May 15th at 11:04pm. It was a fast and almost painless experience – I can't believe it's already been 2 months! Since his birth, we have had quite a bit of adjustment around the house…
First, we are back into infant-mode. It didn't take long to remember the nonstop, no-sleep, never ending neediness that comes with a newborn. Billy and I both fell right back into those roles. The hard part has been reconciling time with Victor. I think we both have started to spend even more one-on-one time with Victor than we did when he was an only child, just because we worry he'll feel neglected due to all of the time spent caring for the baby. Just like we expected, though, Victor acted out a little when the baby arrived. I can't blame him – our stay in the hospital was his first overnight without Mom and Dad at home (Grandma and Grandpa stayed with him) and when we did come home, we brought another attention-sponge…Needless to say, we've entered a new world of discipline with Victor.
Bringing home the baby brought on some hitting issues we hadn't dealt with yet. Time-out and the occasional swat have worked well to reverse that behavior. Now, we can see it coming and just have to remind Victor, "do you want to go sit on the rug until you can be a nice boy?" Usually, that alone will send him stomping out of the room to pout on his own. Otherwise, once he takes a swipe at one of us (or baby Rickey), we gently take him by the hand and lead him to the nearest carpet-sample (we have one upstairs and one downstairs – we call them "THE RUG" and use them for time-out or general waiting). He's pretty good about knowing that he's doing something wrong and the consequence doesn't have to be punitive – just a "wait here until you're ready to be nice." It's so sweet when he comes out, too – he'll walk over and say, "nice!" I can't help but give him a big hug & kiss at that point.
Rickey has been such a joy. Everyone reminded me that "every child is different", and they're mostly correct. Rickey has his own personality and has definitely grown in a different way (bigger & faster) than Victor…but is very similar to how Victor was as a baby (with some exceptions). Rickey doesn't like to sleep on his back, even though that's how he's supposed to, according to the professionals. We let him sleep on his side, although he'd much rather sleep on his tummy if we'd let him. Victor loved to sleep on his back and really fought off tummy-time when we'd put him down.
A few more comparisons (and as a middle child, I know how irritating "comparing children" can be for the kids…but as a mother, it's just fun) – Victor's hair was lighter and curlier, whereas Rickey's is stick-straight and dark. Victor was a long, skinny fella – Rickey is not, by any means, "skinny", and is about average height. Victor wasn't terribly vocal – Rickey is quite a talker at this point.
Speaking of talking, Victor has said his first complete sentence! While driving in the car, he blurted out, "The baby has no shoes." I nearly fell over – I didn't know what to say, other than, "um, well, yes – you're right. The baby has no shoes on right now. I mean, he has shoes…at home, but he isn't wearing any right now…." It took me a while to remember to say, "good job, buddy! Great job using your words!" I must admit, it was a funny and proud moment.
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