Friday, March 20, 2009

Big Sister in Training

Camille is very excited that she will be a big sister later this year. She doesn't understand progression of time yet, but she knows she has to wait a long time until the baby arrives. I avoid telling her that a long time is longer than five sleeps. She says things like, "mommy, you need to eat because you need to feed your baby." (Not that I usually have any trouble eating. It's more so that I have trouble NOT eating!) And "your belly is getting bigger because your baby is in there." And, one of the best, she tells Barry "mommy and I are going to be soooo busy (with the baby)."

I hope that these statements are a sign that she knows change is coming. She's been the center of attention for 4 years now, and adding a new little person to the mix is going to change that quite a bit. I'd like to think that Barry and I have done a good job teaching her that there is a world outside of her world. Teaching her about waiting her turn to speak; that there's an appropriate and inappropriate time to act silly and play; the act of sharing not only toys but also friends, etc. But even so, there's only so much a four year old can comprehend.

Last night I was put at ease a bit more about how she'll adapt to having to share mom and dad. She miraculously took a nap yesterday afternoon so getting her to fall asleep at bed time was more challenging than usual. It was after the fifth time she came out of her room to ask me "how long until morning? It takes sooooo long. Can I get a back rub to fall asleep?" that I told her no more coming out of her room because I'M going to bed. (Barry was out of town so on those nights I tend to go to bed earlier than usual and try to catch up on some reading. It was 8:30) She agreed. I gave her a back rub, sang some lullabyes, and then told her she could read books if she's still having trouble falling asleep, but NO COMING OUT OF YOUR ROOM.

Ten minutes passed. I could hear her reading her Dora book, telling the story out loud. I was in bed, finishing my book (Wally Lamb's The Hour I First Believed - fabulous. Long but fabulous). At fifteen minutes, her door opens. She came to my door anticipating my frustraion and said, "I'm just going potty. I'm not coming out of my room to tell you anything except that I have to go potty." "OK, " I say "thank you." Oh I want to eat her up. She goes, and goes back to her room. Ten minutes later, her door opens again. "What?!" "Umm I want to sing you a song." Although frustrated, I want to hear the song.

It's one I've never heard before and have never heard Barry sing to her. And I got one of those feelings that my daughter is the smartest kid in the world for remembering all these words. The song was about falling asleep will let you do whatever you want to do tomorrow. And then she started listing all the things I could do tomorrow after I fall asleep. And they were not things that she would do; they were really things I could do, like go to work, cook, bake, go for a run. When she was finished, she kissed me good night, turned off my light and closed the door. After that I didn't hear anything from her. I laid there for a few minutes in the dark and realized what a great big sister she will be.

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