Saturday, April 25, 2009
My girls are growing up. Last year Josh (my nephew) said that eating the crust on your bread doesn't grow you up -- birthdays do! Well, I would add that new siblings "grow you up" too.
Autumn is as gracious and willing as ever in her role as the oldest. She is very helpful. On several occasions now she has changed Esther's diapers for me (if they're just wet...), thrown away diapers, checked on siblings when they were out of sight and I needed to know what they were up to, read stories to her sisters, started cartoons and movies for them, and just been a wonderful helper.
Heidi loves to hold Becca. Having a new baby sister has also seemed to make her feel like more of a "big" sister. I think she sees herself more as one of the "older" ones and from that has come a new sense of confidence and importance. She is also more helpful than in past months. She is also the one who comes up to me and says, "Mom?" Yes? "I love you!" just out of the blue. Makes me smile every time.
Of all the girls, the changes are most noticeable in Esther. Her speech has exploded and I can trace it back to the day we brought Becca home. Where before if she dropped something on the floor she would have said something like, "Uh-oh! Help please?" - now she would say something like, "Uh-oh! Mom, I dropped my banana on the floor. Can you get it for me?" Seriously. Tonight she was sitting on my step-stool with her legs crossed. Autumn & Heidi were sitting across from her and she was their teacher. She said, "Now, what do you like?" Autumn & Heidi gave answers and she said looked at them very prim & proper like, sort of with the all-knowing glance of someone older, and said, "Oh. That's nice." And then she pointed behind her and said, "Now, you go play on the TV for awhile." I know -- the TV? That was weird...but it has been fascinating to watch her develop these past weeks. Her speech has grown and her playtime is also different. She didn't play like that with her sisters pre-Becca.
I have also seen Esther mimicking all sorts of motherly behavior. She has a few baby dolls. Heidi's doll has been her favorite for several days now. She walks around with the baby doll wrapped up in a blanket. I have seen her with the baby doll tucked under her shirt feeding the baby from her "belly" (her words!) as well as burping her baby. She asks to bring her baby to the store and on errands as well. And one day I found the baby doll buckled into Becca's carseat. Does every big sister go through this stage? I remember enjoying this with Autumn & Heidi too.
I have also seen indications that they are all feeling the added stress that comes with a new baby as well.
(melt-downs over rain, stealing food from the kitchen, saying no and running away, not answering until I am right in front of them with a hand on a shoulder, refusing to help, refusing to get out of the bathtub, sneaking outside without permission, lying in the baby swing, extra finger sucking, and that's from all three of them but I refuse to name names at this point...)
Their roles have shifted and they are each working to adjust to that.
Some cute things we've heard in the last couple of days:
- At lunch today Esther's hot dog was hot and she asked Eric, "Is it done hotting?"
- At dinner I was asking Esther about what she does in nursery and she said, "I have sumpeeng I can tell you. About nursery..." and then proceeded to talk about the toys they play with. I just love how she says "sumpeeng" and that she said "I have sumpeeng I can tell you."
- And yesterday at the grocery store with Eric when they ended up in line behind our friend Jamison, she said in confusion, "What are you doing here?"