I will not say the first 4-6 months of having Oliver around we easy in terms of Julia's behavior. We had some SERIOUS testing and some HORRIBLE tantrums. One in particular that comes to mind happened about a week after Oliver was born. Dave was still home on paternity leave and we had to go to a local baby/kids' store to get a couple of new covers for the changing table, because poor Oliver hosed himself and the changing table down every time a little air hit his package during a diaper change.
We were in the store and Julia saw some sparkly red shoes she wanted. I told her she didn't need shoes at that moment in time, especially not $50 sparkly red shoes. She stood her ground, refusing to leave the store. Finally, Dave had to pick her and take her outside. He gave her the benefit of the doubt. It was late afternoon. Was she hungry? Did we need to stop for a bagel or something on the way home? Julia glowered at him and ran back into the store. What followed was a 15 block walk home where Dave carried a flailing and screaming child, all the while she was smacking him in the face. Good times.
However, this post is not about the hellacious time we had at the beginning. The one thing that has been true since day one is how much Julia ADORES her baby brother. Yesterday we were walking to German school, a language immersion program Julia does every Thursday afternoon to help support our decision to raise her bilingually. We were talking about a friend who is pregnant with her second baby. This friend was part of a moms' group I met when Julia was a baby. We were six women who all sought out a formal support group because we were having a difficult time with one baby / parenting issue or another. Ironically, we all had little girls. Three of us have gone on to have second children, ironically all boys. This fourth mom is pregnant with her second, a girl. Julia was remarking how funny it is that all of her other little friends from that group have little brothers and how Thalia is going to have a little sister.
I reminded Julia of something she said about 2 weeks before Oliver was born. We didn't know what we were going to have, a boy or a girl. Julia said to me, "Mama, if this baby is a boy I am going to be SO FRUSTRATED." Julia looked at me and was quiet for about a block. Then she turned to me and said, "Mama, you know what? Oliver is EXACTLY the baby I wished for."
I about cried. What an incredibly sweet sentiment from his big sister. He is one lucky little boy, to have a sister who loves him so completely. I know there will be bumps in the road, but her love and adoration for him have been present since the day he was born. He's in good hands.