A Bad Dad

Man, I hope we haven’t done any damage with this parental screw-up, but only time will tell.

First, a bit of background.

  1. It’s official. Baby #2 is on the way (YAY!)
  2. #1 has always wanted a baby sister/brother. She loves babies and is always mothering her teddies & dolls. I suspect all toddlers go thru a “mothering” phase with their teddies, but The Girl really seems to take extra joy in making sure her “babies” are well taken care of. For this reason, we have always thought that when baby #2 comes, there is a good chance she will be a fantastic older sister.
  3. The Girl rarely used a soother when she was younger, and hasn’t touched one for close to a year. 2 weeks ago, a suckie was found and, despite our best efforts, it hasn’t left The Girl’s mouth since.
  4. Mom still sometimes sleeps with The Girl at night.

So, 2 days ago the suckie went missing. The Girl has been a bit upset by the disappearance. Mom and I have been trying to explain that suckies are for babies and now that she is a big girl she really doesn’t need one. In fact, maybe we should save the suckies for the new baby. Mistake #1.

Also in the past couple of days, we’ve been trying to prepare The Girl for the fact that, when the new baby comes, Mommy may not be able to sleep with her in her bed because the new baby might need Mommy at night. Mistake #2.

So, we thought she had been taking all this news rather well. Until last night when we heard he utter, “Don’t want new baby. New baby go away. I have enough babies.”

My heart broke. I felt horrible. What have we done? The Girl had been so excited about having a new baby and in the course of a couple of days we have managed to suck all the excitement of having a new baby right out of her.

In retrospect, our mistakes were obvious, including the references to her becoming a “Big Girl”. I think that is going to stop. I only hope that we can get her back on track to being excited about having a baby brother or sister again.

I’m feeling like a terrible parent right now.

3 responses to “A Bad Dad

  1. Don’t sweat it too much. First of all, maybe they were “obvious mistakes,” but they were “mistakes” made out of love and enthusiasm. Secondly, you have many, many months to help her get excited all over again. Thirdly, that will be easier to do due to the fact that toddlers’ memories at that age are pretty limited – she’s going to forget before you do for sure. Fourth, the sooner you two let yourselves off the hook, the easier it will be to ger her excited once again (and yourselves, too, probably).

    Jeepers, I feel like my Okapis (boy/girl twins) with all of this counting. 😉

  2. First up: Congratulations on the news of no.2 on the way !

    Secondly – don’t sweat it about the little slips, its all part of the parenting experience. I did a bit of research on new arrivals and created this article on Minti – just in case you haven’t seen it :

    http://www.minti.com/parenting-advice/17/Sibling-rivalry-steps-to-help-with-a-new-arrival/

    All the best,
    Matt from Minti

  3. Thanks for the notes guys. After a few days, things have got better & The Girl is once again pumped about the new arrival!