Actually, I've been pleasantly surprised at the boys' reaction these past two weeks. As you may recall, we had a tough time with Jack when Jude first came home. I didn't know if I should expect the same from Jack this time around, or expect something similar from Jude. Thankfully things haven't reached that level.
|Kisses from Jack.|
Jack adores Julia, whom he calls "Baby Sister" or "Baby Julia." He always includes the "baby." He loves to give her kisses, is most concerned when she's crying. For someone who doesn't do very well with sharing, he's constantly giving her his toys. I'm always finding trucks or Monkey nestled under her arms or stuffed in her carseat. And he usually asks at least once a day, "I hold him?" (We're still working on our pronouns here.) He's really at a great age to bring in a new baby. I can see why the average person spaces their children out 2.5-3 years. The difference between 3-year-old Jack and 18-month-old Jack is huge!
|Proud big brothers!|
And then there is Jude. We had a few jealously issues early on, as in the first morning we were home. He wasn't so keen on Mama holding another baby. Having Marmie and Poppa here the first 10 days helped distract him... maybe a little too much. At one point he was so upset with me he wouldn't even let me hold him and preferred Poppa instead. But we seem to have gotten past that. He's still a little sensitive on occasion, it hurts his feelings if I'm preoccupied when he "needs" me. But I think that's to be expected. And thankfully he doesn't take it out on Julia. At least not intentionally.
|Going in for "the poke."|
Jude is a very curious older brother. He's reallly interested in the baby and all her appendages. He likes to point to her eyes, rub her hair, touch her hand, pull off her socks. He also likes to push her really high in the swing. Or whisk off her blanket and point at her like he just did a magic trick. He calls her "Baa-baa" (in a really loud voice) and just in case you don't know what he means he'll usually accompany this with the sign for "baby" - making a cradle with your arms.
|Cardigans, headbands and bows!|
Speaking of loud voices, neither Jack nor Jude has figured out their "inside voice" yet, especially around the baby. Thankfully she's still at an age where she'll sleep through anything, but we're really going to have to work on this "use your quiet voice when baby is sleeping" thing. Especially since Jude's finger-to-his-lips "shushing" sounds a lot more like a tornado re-enactment.
Both boys love to hold Julia. Their eyes light up, they get a big smile on their face and their chests about burst with pride. Of course, neither can hold her on their own yet. Jack practically dumps her on the floor if something new catches his eye, and Jude can hardly wrap his arms around her. But we let them practice with a "spotter" ... and lots of pillows.
Everyone says your littlest will seem so much bigger when you bring the baby home. It was true before and its true again. Jude is huge these days. Everything about him seems bigger and older. Which is why I went through all his clothes and switched the 12 month stuff out with the 18 month things... and then realized he doesn't yet fit into a lot of his 18 month clothes. Apparently the big changes are all my imagination.
|Girly socks are so much sweeter!|
So we're all learning our new roles and adjusting to the status of family of five. I, for one, am completely enjoying this whole baby girl thing. We had to develop a new organization system in the nursery this week just for accessories (stockings, headbands, hair clips, etc.). Now we just need to get her some jewelery! Other than one belt and a pair of shin guards, our boys don't have any of those "extras", so this was a fun change from the norm. I think this is just the beginning of my efforts to preserve her femininity in a house full of manly men! She is one lucky lady though with two such fine young fellas to pave the way before her. I can only imagine the fun they'll have in the coming years!