Throughout most of my pregnancy Boo seemed pretty much oblivious to my growing belly. Sure, I’d talk to him about the baby, and tell him all about how he was going to be a big brother. I’d point to my belly and tell him how his little sister was in there…
But it was only at the very end that he started poking my belly, and looking at it with some degree of curiosity. I can’t imagine he didn’t know there was something in there, poking and prodding him when he cuddled up to me.
So to be honest, we weren’t really sure how Boo was going to react to the baby.
And at the very start….well….he didn’t react much. When his Daddy brought him to the hospital to see Mama and meet the baby for the very first time, he barely looked at her long enough to poke her once or twice. He was far more interested in the hospital room, its cupboards, drawers, the bed, the chairs, everything but the baby.
Once we brought Hiccup home, I don’t think Hiccup’s presence really registered with him. Though he did, admittedly, give me space to nurse and care for her. But it was like he was completely oblivious of her, while still understanding that I had to sit and be still…for whatever reason. So he’d wander around me while I was nursing, and bring me books to read to him. He’d place them on the pillow behind Hiccup, or directly in my hand. Sometimes he’d listen and lean on the pillow, but never seemed to want to displace Hiccup in any way. It continued like this for the first few weeks.
Then suddenly things began to change. Boo began to notice Hiccup a little more. Initially he’d get down close to her while she was in her (formerly his) bouncer and pinch her hands and feet. We told him he was welcome to be curious and touch her, but that he had to do so gently. And you know what? After a few days the pinching stopped and gave way to his patting Hiccup on the back, on her head, her limbs. Gently. Very very gently.
So we told him (and keep telling him) that his gentle pats are very nice, and that he’s being a good big brother. And he keeps getting in close and patting Hiccup gently…he also seems to be developing an actual interest in her. When Hiccup cries he runs to her, often beating me to her side. Once there he wants to pat her (to soothe her?) or at least look at her if he can’t reach.
When Hiccup is fast asleep he’ll wander into her room to peer over the side of the play yard, or climb onto the bed to sit next to her (because of course she sleeps best EVERYWHERE but her designated sleeping space). Sure, he gets a mischievous little look on his face as he does so…but Boo almost ALWAYS has a mischievous look on his face.
…So proud of my little man, and the good big brother he’s being!1