Bean has always been precocious for her age, and that’s saying a lot coming after her big sister and big brothers. I’m always a little surprised when people comment on how mature Mr. B is, because I’m often, unfairly, comparing him to Miss H and she is even more mature.
Yesterday at the B’s visual therapy appointment the receptionist told me how she is always so surprised and pleased when B walks in and gives her his name and tells him he’s there for his appointment with Miss Jackie and then quietly takes a seat in the waiting room (I often walk in a few minutes after this because I’m corralling tiny humans). She said there aren’t any other kids who come in and check themselves in, or who are as naturally sweet and polite as he is. Which of course makes my momma heart sing because I never really knew if the whole modeling manners and not forcing manners thing would work out since I was kind of trudging through unknown (to me) territory when I became a momma and decided to try a different parenting path from what I knew.
Even so, Bean is barely two and she speaks in sentences and even M’s therapist remarked at every. single. session. about how very, very precocious she is. Add that to her fierceness, fesityness, and feralness, and she’s a real amazing piece of work to say the least.
So I guess it should have come as no surprise that she would be the one with a few struggles becoming a big sister.
I know everyone has their own opinions on the spacing of kids, but I’m telling you, for us, 18 months or closer has been best. Miss H becoming a big sister to Mr. B was a breeze. She never really cared, had no real regressions, and pretty much forgot he hadn’t always been a part of her life after a few days. It was essentially the same adding Bean beneath Sweet M.
There were 4.5 years between Mr. B and Sweet M though. And though it wasn’t terrible – there were a lot of pros – it was harder for me starting all over with diapers and sleepless nights.
Bean was only 22 months when we had Ave, which doesn’t seem like a huge difference when you consider Miss H was 17 months old when B was born, and M was 18 months when Bean was born. But holy moly.
She misses being the baby. She went from fully potty learned to requesting diapers again (but thankfully that has mostly surpassed us). She wanted to sit in a high chair again. She’d request to be spoon fed. She used to rarely let me carry her, now she always wants to be carried.
And while I am pretty lax and go with the flow and just embraced it as it was, it was the biggest adjustment out of all the kids having a new sibling. I was definitely thrown off kilter because I just didn’t expect all of this.
What also made it tricky is that Bean and Sweet M are so close, which is obviously beautiful and everything I hope for for my kids. But when one is feeling off or in a funk, they feed off of each other. So although M hasn’t had any adjustment issues with Ave – he adores her to pieces and is basically the sweetest big brother (tied with B, of course!) – he empathized with Bean so hard that it made him a little more cray cray than usual there for a hot second as well.
Fortunately, they seem to have themselves together again, and things finally seem to be finding a new balance of normal, and I am finally starting to feel like it’s okay to breathe again. At least a little bit.
Photo credit to the amazing Ashley Athey.