Upon coming home we have had all kinds of well-wishes for our family, a lot of them including how good of a big brother/sister the twins must be...and i have no doubt that one day that will be true. But hey, i gotta get real here...adding a new little one to our family has NOT been an easy transition for my sweet twins. Maybe we stand alone here (although i'd put money on the chance that we don't) but it seems like everyone around us brings a new baby home and the other little members of the house just naturally accept the new baby and love him/her and life is fabulous. Maybe everyone else is just trying to paint the picture of family perfection when that really isn't reality...or maybe the transition really was smooth...i don't know. I'm just in the middle of my own experience, and this is our reality right now.
From the time i got pregnant things dramatically changed for the twins. I wish I could say I handle pregnancy well, but I don't. The beginning is weeks of sickness and as soon as that ends, i end up with some pelvic/back/sciatic issues that arrise well before my belly is big enough to really be an excuse. This means that all of sudden one day Mommy was sick...and it really didn't end. Mommy took a lot of naps, was short-tempered (even when i tried so hard not to be), was sore, couldn't get on the floor or run around and play anymore. That's hard enough on little kids. By the end of the pregnancy, the kids adopted mommy's feelings of being "tired" and "don't feel well" and daily used them as excuses for all of their problems. Today, it is forbidden to use those phrases around here...yeah, it's a work in progress.
Then all of sudden Momma and Daddy left one morning to go to the hospital and Nana came to take care of them. When they would come to visit at the hospital, Momma had funny cords hanging out of her hand, and she was stuck in bed, or even worse, she was holding some new baby. Then the kids would have to leave and go home while Momma and Daddy stayed in the hospital with the baby instead of going home with them.
AND THEN, we brought the baby home. It cries, takes a lot of Momma and Daddy's attention. The baby gets presents and visitors. Momma and Daddy get onto them a lot for being too rough, or too loud.
That's no fun. I understand. Even more, I feel guilty. I see Holden struggling to find his place. To know that Momma and Daddy still love him. I see Nora put her nose up at baby brother and just pretend he isn't even there. It's hard. It's normal, I know that. And I even know that it will get better, it already has some. But that doesn't make it any less hard.
We try not to push the issue. We let them have their space from brother. We try to give them as much individual attention as we can. We try to keep their schedules the same. We have even tried going out and doing things with them even when my body really just wanted to stay at home at rest. We're trying to make it okay for them. But we also don't want to ignore the fact that their new brother is here. He is a person in need of love and attention just like they need. He's a part of our family. We try to include him as much as possible in our family activities, even if he's just sleeping on the sidelines while we read our Nite Nite Book. We try to encourage spending time with him, even if it's just for a minute every day.
We've also noticed the twins have really banded together during this time. I don't know if it's just a coincidence and a result of their ages or if it really has anything to do with their lives totally changing...but they talk to each other more, and play together, scheme and get into trouble together and do silly stuff with each other that they weren't doing prior to having Davis. This i'm okay with. If they can find some comfort in each other, i'll take that. I do find so much joy in them loving each other.
Of course the twins are also acting out more than usual. That's another struggle. We understand why they are misbehaving but in spite of that, still being consistent with expectations and rules is hard to do. One minute we want to be lenient because we understand their struggles and the next minute we are so exhausted we are too short with the twins and don't handle conflicts the way we should.
Whew. It's difficult. But we know time will make it better. We will fall into a routine as a family of five and chances are the twins won't even remember this time in their lives. But until then...here's to patience and wisdom and understanding on all of our parts.
a perfect example:
i could paint you a perfect picture and tell you that Nora is reading to her brother, but the truth is: we asked nora to hold her brother and give him some love, when instead she reached over to grab a magazine and completely ignore his presence. Yep. Totally sweet, huh? ;)