Swanny Jr and I have been home from the hospital for a week now. He's 10 days old and we are all adjusting to life as a family of 4. Peanut simply adores her brother. She calls him "my baby" and always wants to know where he is, what he's doing, if he can go with us when we leave the house and asks to hold him about 10 times per day. She has done a good job I think of starting to share Mommy and Daddy's attention. She asks lots of questions about the baby that Swanny and I try to answer honestly and on a level she can understand. For example:
Peanut: Why does my brother sleep so much?
Swanny: When he sleeps, that is when his body can grow big and strong like yours.
Peanut: Why doesn't my brother sit on the potty?
Jen: He's too little to sit on the potty. He will use diapers until he is big enough to be able to sit on the potty to go like you do.
Peanut: Why does he cry like that?
Jen: Swanny Jr. can't talk yet, this is how he tells us he needs something.
The open conversation about exploring life with a new baby has taken some interesting turns. Primarily, when it comes to the topic of how Swanny Jr. eats. He has, like his sister did, taken to nursing very well and I feel very fortunate that both kids have made it relatively easy for me to be a breastfeeding mother. Peanut is aware that as a baby she was given milk that my own body produced for her. It was after she and Swanny discussed what nipples are (she saw his as he exited the shower one morning about a year ago and inquired) that she asked me a question--Why do we have nipples? I answered her the best way I could--girls have them so that when they become mommies, they can feed their babies. She only asked or talked about this new interesting part of the body for a few days, when Swanny and I decided we needed to tell her that they are also private parts and have that whole discussion (ala 3 year old understanding).
Any way, when we came home from the hospital Peanut was very interested in how Swanny Jr. was eating from me. On Saturday, she came into our room in the morning to discover me hooked up to the breast pump.
Peanut: What are you doing Mommy?!
Jen: I am making bottles for you and Daddy to feed to Swanny Jr.
Swanny: Peanut, let's go downstairs and give Mommy a few minutes.
Peanut: (sitting down in the dog's bed) I think I'd like to watch
So, she observed the whole process with great interest and immediately asked as I finished up, if she could give him the bottle straight away. I told her she had to wait a few days but could certainly help when that time came. She's been so excited about giving him a bottle, that Peanut has not yet pretended to nurse one of her own dolls, but I'm waiting for that to happen soon.
In a discussion that just about made Swanny's head explode, Peanut determined that since I am a girl and she is a girl, that there would be milk in her body that could feed the baby. I had to correct her that only Mommies have milk in their bodies for their babies. Without missing a beat she went on to say, "Oh, when I am a mommy I will have milk in my body and I will feed my baby from my private parts too!" Just picture Swanny behind Peanut turning red in the face and beginning to sweat and shake a little here...She then went on to ask how old I am (I think in an effort to determine how old she will be when she becomes a mommy) and I told her that when she is 30, she can certainly have a baby and feed it like I do! Again, Swanny just about lost it.
I'm sure there will be more fun to come! Swanny Jr. is waking up from his afternoon nap and will be needing to eat.
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