Ella was smitten with Anna from the moment she met her. Since then, she has been a very helpful big sister. For some reason, she's fascinated by the dirty diapers, and wants to put them in the diaper genie for me. She also will pull out a new diaper for me at each change. Initially, we were letting Ella give Anna a bottle each night at bedtime (typically less than an ounce of breastmilk), but the wonder of feeding her baby sister faded after a while, and Ella got a little distracted and careless. There were some tears shed when I told her that it just wasn't working, but we found a new job opportunity for Ella, and she now helps to give Anna her Vitamin D drops at dinnertime when she takes her own vitamin.
We did have one meltdown a couple of weeks ago on the way home from church. We typically stop and get Starbucks for my husband, and often get Ella an ice water. On this particular Sunday, we had an almost-full water bottle for Ella. When she asked for a Starbucks water, we told her that she already had water. She told us that it was empty--which it was not. Since she had plenty of water, we explained that we were not going to waste a plastic cup or more water. She responded with a meltdown, and then pouted and proclaimed "I don't want my baby sisters". It was a very two-year-old-almost-three-year-old type of tantrum, and I think that Anna (who was sleeping peacefully, as she always does in the car) was just the unfortunate target. We tried to help her redirect her disappointment away from her sister as best we could. Before we made it home, she had to use the bathroom, so we stopped at a grocery store. She and I talked on the way in about where her frustration was coming from, and how things were bound to be different with a new baby in the house. I also let her pick out a special treat just for her so that she understood that she really is still an important part of our family.
Our little chat seemed to have worked. The following Sunday, Ella told us "I'm holding Baby Anna's hand so that she feels like she belongs", and then proceeded to fall asleep herself. My heart skipped a beat when I opened the car door to retrieve my sleeping beauties and saw this:
Growing up with brothers, I always wanted a
sister (though I wouldn't trade my brothers for the world). Yet I admit that when we
found out we were having another girl, I worried that I wouldn't know
how to best foster a relationship between sisters. It
looks like they are figuring it out just fine on their own. I
recognize their relationship won't always be as sweet as this moment,
but I pray that I find ways to encourage their love and friendship to
Today's blessing is having Ella's friend back from their vacation so that they can bring Ella in to school again. Her little friend moved out to our area (about 30 minutes from town) a while back, and the mom (who has become one of my good friends) has been gracious enough to bring Ella to and from school so that I can stay home with Anna. They went to London to visit her sister, so I was either bringing Ella in myself, or letting her stay home with me and Anna. While it was nice, in a way, to have both girls, it is also nice to have my one-on-one bonding time with Anna again. And--I know this sounds selfish--but because she is a such a happy baby who still sleeps a lot, I'm also blessed to have a little time to myself to get caught up on little projects around the house. I go back to work a month from tomorrow, and I feel like I will be able to feel "ready" when the time comes.