I am not going to lie — I am kind of old to be giving any kind of baby advice, but I got engaged in a conversation on Twitter with @ComplicatedMama and I realized that even though I am older, I still have an awesome piece of advice I have to share with those of you who have more than one child, or are expecting your second, third, or more.
It was the one thing that worked for me when I was sitting alone at home with 3 small kids. Two were older and one was a baby. As you know, newborns are lumps. They simply slouch in their carseats or in laps. They aren’t interesting in the beginning to adults, but especially uninteresting to other children.
My husband worked about 60 hours a week so I was pretty much a single parent during the week. And if I am really honest, I was really a single parent on the weekends, too, since my husband believed that he was “allowed” to do nearly anything he wanted because he was the one who had a paying job.
Yes, he’s a highly educated man and he still believed that crap.
So there I am sitting in my house essentially devoid of adult companionship and I have two children who want to kill the baby. The baby not only disrupted their fairytale lives but it also appeared mom was going to give ‘it’ all her attention. Would they have really harmed the baby? I don’t know, and I never tested the suspicion since the consequences were too high. Let’s just say the baby was never out of my sight.
What to do to help forge some kind of bond? Here’s what finally melted the ice. I treated my youngest daughter like she was a puppet. I gave her a personality. She spoke to the older girls and was quite funny if I don’t say so myself. She also played games with her siblings, and one in particular was very helpful — we played chase. We have one of those houses where you can start running in the kitchen, go through the door to the “formal” dining room, run down the hallway into the family room and back into the kitchen.
We went round and round and I chased the girls for what seemed like hours with my girls squealing like it was the most fun of their lives. Truth be told, I was having the time of my life, too. There’s nothing like a little girl’s sweet laughter to soothe the soul. Peals of squeals could be heard up and down my suburban street.
If your older children aren’t too keen on your new baby, give this bit of advice a try. Let me know if it worked for you!