So, Georgia my second daughter is now 3 weeks old and it seems her big sister Scarlett is experiencing some emotional turmoil over her new sibling.
When we brought her home Scarlett, who is two and a half years old, was overjoyed and showered her newborn sister with gentle affection and explained to me how “mummy and daddy had gone the doctor to get Georgia out of mummy’s belly” and she exclaimed that Georgia was in her very own words “sooo cute” I thought my child is obviously a genius and I’ve no need to worry about her feeling pushed out with the new addition to the family. I was right up until yesterday…
I was sat giving Georgia a bottle and Scarlett came over and bashed her baby sister on the head then proceeded to give me a swift right hook in the eye then ran away cackling. I was completely shocked and once I had made sure Georgia was absolutely fine I couldn’t help but start chuckling at the absurdity at what had just happened. I tried to tell Scarlett off with my most serious expression but had to keep turning my face away to laugh uncontrollably as the mere fact I was saying the words “darling, you must not punch people in the face” to my sweet blond pig-tailed toddler sent me into a fit of giggles.
I finally managed to compose myself and the only way I could get her to apologise was to suggest that further such behaviour would lead to the lifetime ban of sweeties and the possible binning of her cherished toy ‘bedtime bunny’. I know that my child is in no way some kind of violent delinquent and she is simply acting out at the fact that she now has to share mummy but I’m now constantly worried that I can’t balance my attentions fairly between my two children when their needs are so different.
On the one hand I want to spend all day playing fairy dress up and horsey rides with Scarlett but I also want to spend all day snuggling my precious newborn Georgia to ensure she has the same bonding experience and close relationship that Scarlett and I have. Some activities mean I can do both but I find it incredibly hard to hide in the shoe cupboard whilst successfully supporting Georgia’s floppy head during a game of hide-and-seek.
My brother and I share a fantastic relationship now but I remember one time he suggested I dive head first into a sleeping bag whilst he timed how fast I could manage such an athletic trick. Being an innocent 5-year-old I accepted the challenge and once inside the sleeping bag was thrilled with my speedy agility when I suddenly realised my big brother had tied up the open end with his dressing gown cord and had buggered off downstairs to watch Ghostbusters leaving me to breathe through the zip until mum rescued me.
Last night Scarlett said to me that she’d quite like the doctor to take Georgia back now and a bit later on I found her pushing Georgia in her pram over to the bin where I assume she thought I’d simply take her out to the kerb with the rest of the recycling.
I think the next few weeks are going to be a bit of a learning curve for all of us to adjust Scarlett in the most gentle way possible to the reality that she will have to share the limelight now.
Your suggestions on making this a smooth transition would be greatly appreciated!