My beautiful little Small DB turned one today. One year old. Here’s where I write the predictable stuff about it passing in the blink of an eye, and also how hard the transition is from one to two kids… It’s all true. Small DB has been an essential plugin to our little family unit.
She is joyous, smiley, determined and can double as a wrecking ball if you ever want to borrow her to reduce your living room to rubble. I have loved watching her grow over the past 12 months, and I know how much she has benefitted from being the second-born.
She has had a much calmer mother; someone who has learnt not to fight the inevitable difficulties and one that has oceans more confidence in herself than she did the first time around. Of course you can never truly tell how much is down to nature and how much is due to nurture, but still… This past year has had far fewer depths of the struggling despair that punctuated 2008!
In watching her evolve I have seen how she relates to her sister. And Small Z has been a gorgeous surprise. She was never one of those kids that want to grab babies and smother them with sticky kisses. While Small DB was tiny and fairly uninteresting, she was fairly uninterested. But as there has been laughing, sitting and now crawling and cruising, Small Z has realised she has a little playmate. She is heroically patient with Small DB, who wrecks her corner full of books and toys on a daily basis.
She has never screamed or yelled at Small DB – she is truly amazingly tolerant. I have learned that not only am I a role model to Small Z for how to behave in life, but also how I treat Small DB. She is modelling what we have shown her – patience and care for a baby that is learning and finding her way.
I still have a segment within myself that mourns a bit for my relationship with Small Z. It’s inevitable that with the arrival of a new baby, the spotlight shifts. Both Small Z and I have struggled with this a bit. I miss being able to just hang out with her one on one – the bedtime snuggles – and our days together – I miss them!! While Small DB is exclusively breastfed and a 40 minute napper and M is working berko hours on The Boat, downtime with Small Z has just not happened for me.
I think some of the success with Small Z accepting Small DB into our family was due to us not making a big huge deal of the imminent exciting arrival of the new baby. And I made a particular effort once she was here, that Small Z was still SMALL. She was still my baby too. I did not want her to feel 1) like she had been usurped and 2) like she had to act ‘big’ because she was the ‘big sister’.
We had a lovely, low key day today. Small DB has been sick with roseola for the past week. Today was the first day she wasn’t fevery or rashy. I made her a daisy flower cake, and she and Small Z had some after breakfast. How I’ve changed! Cake did not pass the lips of Small Z until she was at least two, I am sure!
Happy Birthday Daisy Belle, we love you!