It was not love at first sight. It was more along the lines of extreme distrust on first sight, but that’s far less catchy. My two year old boy, his legs and arms still chubby and his rosebud mouth set in a grim line, looked at his new-born sister and gestured roughly ‘Move dat.’ Only then would he approach the hospital bed to see me. In hindsight, it could have been worse.
I felt ripped, wanting to be with my son and knowing my new daughter needed me. I cried at night, holding him and whispering ‘I’m sorry!’ Later, I cried with my girl, stroking her soft hair and drinking her in, I couldn’t give her the time she needed either.
At home, my eldest spent days walking in wide circles around the small pink thing on the floor, casually commenting ‘the baby got fingers!’ but shaking his head ‘nooooooo!’ upon invitation to inspect said fingers more closely. The first time he held her we rallied around, nervous and excited at this, the first real proper contact!
Surely, our two beautiful children would recognise their bond. ‘The baby got mouth!’ he exclaimed before putting his hand inside it. The subsequent screaming of his parents and his baby sister did not help matters. I would even go so far to say as it might have scarred him, just a little.
I consulted my friends, and the internet. One friend said things like ‘the sadness you feel at losing the bond with your first child is only matched by the joy you feel as you watch them bond with their sibling.’ This sounded good. I liked it. Helpful Internet People said ‘Just wait, it will happen.’ So I waited. Then, I waited again. After that I did some waiting. Then, just to mix it up, I waited. I also told my friend her advice was crap. Continue reading Siblings: When You Wait For Them To Bond