Golden days

Who knows what may come in the future, but right now, brother and sister adore each other. Ever since the Baby started sitting up and especially since she has been joining in with mealtimes in the high chair, the Toddler has been seeing her less as a nuisance and more as a potential play mate. He recognises that she is a little person with preferences and even sees a need to speak on her behalf. One day she was crying in the high chair, so I offered her a bit more porridge.

“Maybe not.” the Toddler sniffed.

I gave her some banana.

“Maybe not,” the Toddler said again. “Baby not like-a banana.”

He was right, as it turned out. She was finished and did not like-a more food.

Another morning I went to get him from his room. The baby was already awake and downstairs and unhappy that I had left her. We could hear her crying as we came down the stairs.

“Oh no! Baby crying! Coming Baby! Baby pain?”

“No, I think she is just a bit lonely.”

“Oh, lonely… Poor baby.” By this time we had arrived at where she was sitting in the bouncy chair, making her displeasure known. Her brother went up to her and dropped down to (her) eye level. “Want a cuddle?” He gave her a hug. “There, better. And now: Nummajacks!”

Yesterday they were sitting side by side in the double buggy when the Baby had a bit of a coughing fit. Again, her brother’s concern made my heart melt. He leaned over as far as the straps would let him and said: “Oh, Baby, coughing?” Then he tucked her in under her buggy-blanket and blew her a kiss.

My brother at 3 years old, after I had dressed him up as the Easter Bunny. I thought I'd really done a bang-up job on his face paint.

My brother at 3 years old, after I had dressed him up as the Easter Bunny. I thought I’d done a particularly good job on his face paint.

What seems to have endeared the Baby to him no end is that he has discovered that he can make her laugh. His repertoire of gags includes singing the Problem Blob song from Numberjacks, doing wibbly-wobbly legs (or arms or tummy) with her and making toys fly around her head. Her giggles set him off too and soon he is helpless with laughter. Penelope Leach (again) has a brilliant section on how to help your first child through the arrival of a new baby. I won’t quote it all here, but one of her best pieces of advice is to convince the toddler that the baby likes him – because we all like people who like us. Well, very little massaging of the truth was needed here: the Baby’s beaming smile and shrieks of excitement when she sees the Toddler make it pretty plain how wonderful she thinks he is. But the fact that he can make her giggle has truly cemented their friendship – we like people who like us, but we love them if they think we’re funny. In fact, it is official: the Toddler frequently holds her hand and says “friends!”.

Growing up, my brother and I were always very close, and this is what I hoped for in having a second baby: that my children would have that special built-in friendship, that person who has lived through your childhood with you and can share memories of a happy home with you once you have grown up. Someone, basically, who can both thoroughly embarrass you and make you cry on your wedding day. It is too early to tell, of course, but when I catch the Toddler kneeling down by the Baby, gently taking her head in his hands and placing a kiss on her head, I think at least our two have got off to a good start.

Linking up to Magic Moments.


43 responses

  1. That is really beautiful! Sounds like they’ve got off to a great start and I hope it continues for all of you 🙂

  2. Such a lovely bond they share 🙂

    I hope that’s the same for us if and when we have a little brother or sister for the little man.

    Love your blog by the way.. Found you on #magicmoments


    • I hope so too! I have heard some horror stories, so feel very blessed that so far they are very pleased with each other.

      Going to have a read of your blog now!

    • He is really a very sweet boy. I should remember that when he decides to finger paint the furniture with yoghurt.

  3. I too, of course, am touched by your lovely story! I do wonder, however, whether the accompanying picture is truly necessary and whether it supports your contention that we got along very well. Unless your definition of getting along is “acquiescing to all my zany schemes”, in which case I guess it does. I thought we had sufficiently covered the “embarrass your brother” ground during my wedding, no?

    The Easter Bunny, whose turn it is to say something and who is very happy that Easter has arrived

    • Haha!! I do admit that the main reason we always got on so well was because you were so laid back and did as you were told (by me). I was hoping to get away with the picture as your name is not mentioned, and we no longer share a last name so it won’t show up when people Google you (as they must surely do all the time!)…

      Muisje Trippelpootje (The REAL star of the show)

  4. That’s lovely – my 2 are playmates too at the moment, I’m enjoying it before she’s old enough for all the fighting to start. I am not close to my brother so it is lovely to nurture that relationship between my own children. I hope you’re 2 grow up to stay firm friends x

    • Here’s hoping… Glad to hear your kids play together – I imagine your youngest is at an age where she might be annoying her brother by grabbing toys.

  5. They’re either going to get on – or they’re not. I like to think mine will too. But really, as you say, who can tell? At the moment, mine are in a phase of fighting. It is soul destroying, until I get involved. Then I’m the bad guy and they’re the best of friends. Fickle… how they make you smile!

    • Oh boy that’s annoying. But even if you have to be the bad guy, it is good that there is something they’ll bond over!

  6. Its the same with my son and daughter! she loves him so much when she started to laugh she would only laugh at him! hes a big help too if shes upset although now shes trying to walk he trys to carry her around everywhere!!

    • Haha that is funny! My son hasn’t tried to carry her yet, although if she falls over he does try to put her back upright. I always know if that’s happened because I can hear him going: “Hngngngng. Oof, hard work.” Needless to say, he can’t budge her! Then he shouts: “Mama! Baby fall over!”

  7. What a gorgeous post! I think it’s lovely that your son is developing that protective nature of a big brother….what a lucky little girl she will be – long may it continue eh?!

    • Yes, let’s hope so!! It’s a far cry from their first meeting. He came to the hospital, took one look at her and said: “Bye bye baby.” Then he climbed back in to his pushchair, expecting to be wheeled straight back out again.

  8. How lovely, it sounds like they’re developing a very special bond. I have an older brother and he has always been my protector, though we each have our war stories to tell, he has always been there for me and I treasure our close bond. What a lovely family you have.

  9. It is so lovely – what a special special bond. My son has always loved to make his little sister laugh too. However they are at the age of antagonising each other too now. But what is sweet is at the end of every day they give each other a hug and kiss goodnight. And I will often walk into the living room to find them sitting quietly together on the sofa holding hands. xx

    • Oh that is adorable! I think my favourite moments are where they do lovely things for each other when we are not watching, and you just walk in to discover what they have done. My son is old enough now to do things just to please me, so it is all the more meaningful when I do overhear him “visiting” the baby in her playpen and chatting to her lovingly.

  10. This is wonderfully evocative! It’s made me feel all misty eyed, as I think about our own two. Hubby’s upstairs at the moment, calming Gwen’s first tantrum. Austin’s giving him helpful suggestions and making a good job of helping her snap out of it! Speaking of which, I’d better head up and help out….

    • I’m imagining what Austin’s helpful suggestions might be… Really looking forward to seeing what they’ll be like in six months’ time – and beyond of course.

  11. What a lovely #magicmoment! I have exactly the same with my 2, Gammon & Chips. Gammon is really rough, but do soft and delicate when it comes to Chips I still can’t believe it’s even possible. Yes, they do wind each other up at times, but they also exude such full and hearty belly laughs together more often and it makes me so happy. Long may it continue (fingers and toes crossed!) Your two sound so adorable! Congrats on being the newbie showcase on #PoCoLo – I look forward to reading more of your Secrets of the Sandpit. Maddie xoxo

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