In the early Berenstein Bear books, there were only 3 in the Bear family: Papa Bear, Mama Bear, and Small Bear. In "The New Baby", Small Bear makes his transition to Brother Bear. I love that his name changes, because it shows the significance of that birth in his life. His whole identity is affected.
Nik is definitely feeling the changes since Alexa has arrived. One of his new favourite games, pictured above, is to climb into her crib, sit in the baby bathtub with her new tummy time quilt, and play with the mobile. I'm not making a big deal out of it. He deserves to be able to say goodbye to Small Bear in his own way.
I have been lucky, actually, that his sleeping and bathroom habits have remained virtually unchanged since baby has been on the scene. I was prepared for a certain amount of regression, but so far, things have been good, and we are nearly at the 2 week mark. I was also wondering if he would be jealous of all the nursing, since he really only recently was completely weaned. It seems to be not a problem, though he does covet the lap time. "You put her on the couch, and I will sit in your lap," he says. Usually I will. After a quick cuddle, he is back to his own thing. Just checking, I guess.
His behaviour is another story. More whining, more boundary pushing, more rudeness in general. It is hard to know how much to ignore, and how much to respond to, and what response is appropriate. Does he need more understanding? More discipline? More attention? The most obvious increase is in bossy behaviour. I am guessing he is trying to control more to alleviate anxiety, but it is hard to remember that when he stomps into the room demanding another video, or computer time, or more chocolate milk in such-and-such specific cup. Unfortunately, my patience runs thinner and he gets crabbier as the day runs on.
Mornings are good. Alexa is happiest after a night's sleep, and will consent to being put down. I can get some housework done, which satisfies my need to accomplish. And Nik is calmer, easier.
The photo below was taken this morning. Happy, bright-eyed kids, snuggled in jammies in the morning light. This is what I want to remember from these first weeks.
The sweet beginnings of Brother Bear and Sister Bear.