Friday, October 3, 2008
On Being a Big Brother
Since Ella's birth, we often get asked "How do the boys like having a little sister?" "How is Sean liking the baby?"
Sean has always been a gentle little boy. He never needed to be taught to be gentle with our cats, it just came naturally to him. They are leery of most kids, but really love on Sean. They snuggle up to him for petting, they even let him lay his head on them to use as a pillow. Amazing!
So along comes baby. We had been telling him for months that baby Ella was in mommy's tummy & he'd pat my belly, give it kisses or raspberries. When she was born, he continued to be very tender and gentle to her. When he wakes up in the morning he pitter pats into my room and snuggles with mommy and Ella every morning. When he sees someone holding her, he holds his arms out and says "Me? ME?" Meaning, he wants to hold her. He gives her the sweetest little kisses on her head or cheeks. He hasn't been jealous of her at all.
A couple of days ago, I was standing by the dryer pulling clothes out & folding them. Ella was laying on the couch, just chilling. Sean was alternating between helping me and saying "Hi Baby!" to Ella. She started to fuss a bit, so I said "Let's sing Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star to her." I started singing & reached in the dryer again. Sean had walked over to her, I thought he was showing her how to make the signs with the song. Suddenly I heard her cry out & I turned around. Sean had her in his arms (barely) and then he tipped over on his butt, she landed on top of him. I think she bumped her head on his mouth, because he had his hand covering it. I scooped her up and settled her down & reminded Sean that only Mommy and Daddy pick up baby. He was very startled by the whole thing and visibly upset that he had hurt her. I told him she was okay. Phew! Hopefully she grows faster and sturdier than he grows strong enough to carry her.
Speaking of growing, that reminds me of a conversation I had with Doug. He was looking at Ella's long fingers and said to her, "Are you going to be a tall like Daddy or short like Mom?" I said, "I just hope she isn't too much taller than Sean. I think he'd prefer that she remains his little sister." Doug thought that it was unlikely that Sean would be taller than Ella. We both hope that the tall male genes in our families help Sean defy the vertically challenged trait of Down syndrome. Not that it really matters, I suppose. I guess we are just used to tall men in our family. Doug is 6'4", his brother is 6'10", his dad is 6'4" also I think. On my side, the men are 6' or slightly over.
I wonder how tall the tallest man with Down syndrome is?