Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Getting your kid to like the baby
Gotta confess, I have fears that Peanut would not like no.2 and that she'll be very jealous and throw tantrums and I'm gonna have a hard time and I will never get enough rest! Peanut is the first grandchild on DH's side, so she's literally the apple of everyone's eyes. Whatever she wants, she gets. She is always showered with tons of attention. When she say jump, everyone else ask how high wtf! Except me of course. I was scared she's not able to adjust herself to a new arrival because attention to her will be halved. Thankfully SO FAR all these fears are unfounded, because she's liking no.2. I said "so far" because i do not like to confirm anything ever because things can change in a hearbeat!
Months before No.2's arrival, I started "psycho-ing" her that there's a baby growing inside my tummy. She didn't receive this news with much happiness though. I remember she was extra clingy at that time, and was crying for no reason. I'm not sure whether it's because she's aware that a new baby is arriving or is it so ngam she was going through one of her terrible twos phase. Whatever it is, she was different lah. Most books suggested that I get ready a present for Peanut when baby arrives so that's what I did. I got her a baby doll (from the BabyAlive series), one of those dolls that comes with disposable diapers, cute toy toothbrush, toothpaste etc. I thought she could change the doll's diaper WHEN i changed No.2's diaper so she won't feel left out haha. Knowing that I bought a BabyAlive doll, Peichyi has very kindly bought an extra set of BabyAlive pyjamas and diapers as a gift for Peanut too .
I gave the presents to Peanut the day I arrived home from the hospital. She was very happy! But she was afraid of him wtf. She refused to go near BabyD, and i had to push her to BabyD so that she can touch him. She kept hiding behind me.
See, she refused to sit near him. That's the nearest she'll go. That's her "gifts" from BabyD behind her.
It took nearly two weeks for her to go and touch him willingly. She takes a while to warm up to strangers, and have i mentioned that she hardly spoke to the confinement lady the whole month she was there?..... Donno whether to laugh or cry T T Maybe because the confinement lady spoke to her in mandarin the whole time, and Peanut catches no ball because she's yellow as a banana.
Personally, i feel the gifts work because up till today, she still refers the doll as the "present from Didi", and she always tells me that Didi loves her because he bought her a present. Yahoo. Plan works!! There are other factors though which i feel plays a part in her not being jealous of BabyD. For now..
1. She's a girl, and he's a boy. Simple as that. I think there will be more sibling rivalry if they're both girls, because then she'll feel the need to be better or be different. To reinforce that I've not forgotten about her, I always tell her that she's my no.1 girl and BabyD is my no.1 boy. Both can be no.1s lah. If both your kids are of the same gender, then i donno wat you can say.
2. She's old enough to understand. This helps when i need to feed BabyD, and Peanut is pestering me for something. When i explained to her I need to feed her little bro first because he's super hungry and that she needs to wait, usually she'll do just that. She'll wait without much fuss. I do try to be fair to her sometimes. There are times when BabyD is crying, but I still attend to her needs first. No harm in letting BabyD crying a bit longer.
There are things that I don't say to her. For example, i don't threaten her when she's naughty and say "if you don't do this and that, mummy won't love you, mummy will only love Didi". Saying this will only make her aware that we're comparing the two of them, and this might spark some jealousies.
I gotta tell a little bit of white lie to her sometimes though. Some days, i will tell her "oh, Didi told me that he loves you very very much. Aren't you happy??" And she'll get all excited and respond happily "YES!!" Also, on and off throughout the day, when i have succeeded in putting BabyD to nap, I'll give her big kisses and hugs, and tell her it's her turn for me to sayang. And I get her involved in everything. And i mean everything including bathing time, and baby pooping sessions. Her job is to scoop water into the bathtub when i bath BabyD, and to open the diaper and hand me wet tissues when i wiped Baby's poop.
Now if only i can split myself into two or three.. I don't have time for anything at all!