Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Moving Forward and Keeping Everyone Happy

As Bun's arrival grows closer, so begins the transition process for LP. She is 22 months old, so I am not really sure that she understands what it means that she is going to become a big sister. Yes, we have read books; and yes, she talks to and hugs and kisses my belly; and yes, she certainly does love babies. But all of this does not really add up to a full appreciation of what impact a new baby will have on her life.

I have written previously about my desire to get LP into a bed before Bun arrives. I am not sure that is going to happen. The Hoos and I are still discussing how and if to go about doing that. One of my friends asked of we are "talking up how exciting a BIG GIRL BED is going to be." We haven't really made an effort to do this, because, to be honest, I don't think LP understands what a BIG GIRL BED is. The "experts" say you are supposed to involve the child in selecting a bed and make them feel a part of the process. If you count running through the bed department of IKEA at a high rate of speed while giggling helping pick out a bed, than LP has been involved (although we still haven't actually purchased a bed). Maybe it is just me, but I would think that she would need to comprehend what we are talking about before we do the old bait and switch and position a twin bed in her bedroom.

Another big change is the LP is going to start going to day care full time. Right now I pay for her to attend full-time (don't ask), but she only goes regularly Tuesday-Thursday. When I have a work commitment or a doctor's appointment she goes on Mondays and Fridays as needed, but I usually feel crazy guilty and end up picking her up early. For the past 22 months, Mondays and Fridays are our time to bond, bake, run errands, and play. LP's nap time is the perfect length to allow me to get work done and the rest of the day is usually a great time for both of us.

However, I know that during my maternity leave it will make my life much easier to only focus on one child. I realize that this is not viable for every family and I am very fortunate that we can continue to send LP to day care while I am only getting partial salary, but since we do have that option, I am pretty sure I want to take advantage of it. I think LP will have more fun at school than she will home with me. They have gym and go outside and no one has a baby stuck to their chest inhibiting their movement. To ease this process for LP, and to ensure that she doesn't blame her new sibling, we intend to start sending her full-time some time soon. But we just don't know when. I don't want to do it any sooner than I have to, but it is getting more difficult for me to pick LP up and at this point she can pretty much outrun me (note to self: pregnant women do not look good running, plus it makes people nervous).

LP is a wonderful child. She is happy, she is healthy, she is smart, and she is becoming really verbal. I am confident that she will be a fabulous big sister. But I know we haven't even begun to see the inevitable bumps in the road to siblinghood.


Tiffany said...

We did not involve Mikayla in the new bed process until it showed up at home. I thought we would set it up in her room, next to her crib and try it after we had talked it up. But as soon as she saw it she wanted to sleep in it and she slept great. We set it up mattress only on the floor at first. After a month or so (don't remember) we moved her into her new room with the bed on the bedframe and everything. She was a bit older than LP too.

When I had Lily Mikayla still went to daycare two days a week. At first it was a blessing to have mom and baby time but towards the end of my maternity leave we figured everything out and I wanted Mikayla at home with me instead.

Robyn said...

You sound just like I would if I were having a 2nd child! As mothers, we obsess over EVERYTHING and then once we make the change, the kids tend to make it seamlessly. I would do whatever feels right to you -- if you don't think LP is ready for a bed, don't push it. If you do, start with a mattress on the floor. Whatever you decide will be the right thing (because you're looking out for LP), so give yourself a break!

Stephanie said...

I had the same experience as Tiffany. I had a convertible crib for my little one, so he got converted right on over to a bed with a lower mattress and one less side, which he loved with wild abandon. Me? Not quite so much. He was so much more free then!

But when we got the actual toddler bed, I didn't tell him we were going to. He couldn't get into it fast enough. I have no idea, to this day, what the big deal was, but he was DONE (d.o.n.e done) with that crib the day the toddler bed moved in. :)