I held no high hopes that there would be big brother/little sister cuddles or that he would be one of those kids that rushes to help mom with changing the baby's diaper or giving her a bath. I even joked (kind of joking) to my husband that we could never EVER leave the two in a room unattended, not even for ten seconds to check on dinner or answer the phone. This guy was used to being the center of our universe and there was no way he was going to want to share the spotlight.
Those who know and love G baby didn't really try to convince me otherwise. I think they thought I was probably right. My mom offered up that it was normal, and reminded me that when I was 4 and she brought my baby brother home, one day shortly thereafter I yelled, 'WHY DID YOU HAVE TO HAVE THIS STUPID BABY ANYWAY?!?'
So there was that to look forward to.
My mother-in-law watched after Gabriel during my delivery, and when we called to tell her and Gabriel that Ari had finally arrived, he was so excited he started putting his shoes on before she even got off the phone. It was right before his naptime, and she wanted to know if we wanted her to bring him then or wait until after his nap. I told her to wait until after he napped...it didn't seem like the best idea to meet such an adjustment with nap-skipping crankiness, and plus, as much as I wanted to see the G baby and be together as a family, I was still dreading his reaction.
But I was wrong.
You see, Gabriel has given me a great gift-a front seat view of a sibling's great and instant love. I was worried that he would be freaked out by her beaten-up newborn face and wrinkled peeling hands. But all he could say over and over, 'she so cute! look at her nose! it so 'mall!! she so cute! look!!'. He was in love.
It's not like since Ari's birth, things in our household have been perfect. As expected, the G baby has had a hard time adjusting to the shift of 'mommy time' and has been way more sensitive and angry/whiny than usual (though he's getting better). But never has he been nasty to his baby sister, never has really even acted in jealousy. He's been proud to show her to all his relatives.
He is, however, an extreme pacifier advocate. In the car, "MOM! she lost her paci! Get her her paci back!" He just can't deal with the crying.
He's not overly affectionate, and when he asks to hold her, after literally 2 seconds, he says, "that's enough."
But he finds quiet moments for a quick kiss or head pat.
I'm not going to tell you that he is the perfect helper-he can't quite get the hang of 'being quieter' when she naps, and he would much rather play with his dump truck in the comfort of his own room than help me fetch clean diapers or run a bath. But he's deeply loved his baby sister since the moment he saw her. And that's all I can ask.