Monday, September 9, 2013

Monday Memory: Baby Sister

Our house is preparing for the arrival of girl #2 in late December. Lana will be four-and-a-half when the baby arrives and so far she is nothing but thrilled at the prospect of having a baby sister. She's so cute and excited and I think she believes this baby will be a real-life baby doll for her to play with.

Sorry Lana, if history is any indicator at all, you are about to be disappointed.

I speak from personal experience. In the summer of 1982 my parents were preparing for a new baby. I was 3 years old and I knew a new baby would be coming to our house. My mom talked to me a lot about how I needed to be her big helper once the baby came and that I would be the big sister and get to teach my little sister all the things she would need to know. My visiting grandmother also filled me with stories about how fun it would be to have a sister to play with. I was an only child and don't remember having any close neighbors with children, so the idea of a live-in friend to play with was rather attractive.

When an eight pound dark-headed pink bundle arrived, I just didn't understand everyone's excitement. This baby was supposed to be sweet and cute and all she did was sleep and cry. I was supposed to be the big helper, but I was not allowed to even touch her without my mother's permission. This baby was supposed to be my best friend and playtime companion, instead she was a lump who couldn't pass a ball, play dollies, or sing songs. She was most certainly not what I had been led to believe she'd be. 

Of course babies grow, and big sisters learn to adjust their expectations. But even now, all these 30+ years later, I distinctly remember being disappointed with my baby sister. I think we'll need to have some extra talks with Lana to lower her expectations, and encourage her to be patient and know that her baby sister will one day indeed be a fun friend to play with, just not at first.

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