We’ve talked a lot about how Jonas has changed, but we haven’t talked a lot about how having him has changed our family. The person that Jonas’ presence has effected the most has been Eliza. So we’ll tell you, in her words and in ours, how becoming a Big Sister has made a difference.
Tell me about being a big sister.
“Well, I like to help Jonas get his soccer toys and everything. I do that. And it’s fun.
What would you tell another kid that is about to become a big brother or big sister for the first time?
“Babies are cute! There’s something else that I want to say about Jonas; I’d tell my friends that Jonas is so cute and I love him so much. A big kid watches the baby, and give them toys when the baby drops them. When one rolls away you have to go get it. And when the mommy is going to get something, you have to watch the baby. My cousin Cora does the same thing with her baby sister. And you get to hold them, but someone has to watch you.”
Is there anything you don’t like about being a big sister?
“Sometimes I have to play with Jonas for a really long time even when I want to go upstairs and play.”
What are you going to do with Jonas when he gets bigger?
“When he’s six, I will teach him stuff. Like teach him French and Spanish. You guys don’t know Spanish, so I’ll have to teach him. I’m going to also teach him how to not suck on things and how to play with things. You know, how to not grab things he’s not supposed to? And I’ll teach him that he has to listen to us. And that’s pretty much it.”
Did you ever feel like you were left out after Jonas was born?
“I felt a little left out, yeah. We didn’t hang out as much right after he was born. But mostly I miss Daddy when he’s working. Also, since you had to lay down in your bed when Jonas was first born, you know what I did with you? I laid down on your bed and snuggled you and hugged you. I also went out with my grandparents sometimes so I didn’t get bored. But it was easier when he got bigger.”
Are you excited to have more brothers and sisters later?
“A little bit.”
Why just a little bit?
“Because having more brothers and sisters… when they are babies they suck on my toys. When they are grown-ups, I won’t get to see them very much. They won’t live with me anymore. And I don’t like that. But when they are little like me it will be so so awesome that I can play with them when they are kids and big enough that they won’t suck on anything. And I’ll love them so so much. Sometimes we’ll take vacations together. Like, on boats and things. And we could all come along, even when we’re grown-ups. Even Nick can come! It would be so awesome. But there’s one problem: how can all my borthers and sisters fit in my little hiding spot in the boat?”
You’ll have to take turns.
What’s the last thing you’d like to say?
“I like to play with my little brother. Jonas and I are very best friends!”
It was important to us that Eliza felt comfortable in her role as Big Sister at the get-go. After Jonas was born, we made sure that Eliza felt included. Friends and family members didn’t just bring J presents, they also brought Eliza small gifts. That helped, especially since the gifts were generally activities like a color-it-yourself calender and Play-Doh. Luckily, she didn’t have any of the negative behaviors in reaction that her new brother that we anticipated (we’ve heard that this can be a pretty big problem when there isn’t much of an age difference).
Eliza transitioned into her new role very smoothly, but she did change. She’s much more independent. Though she’s always been pretty self-sufficient (She wants to do things herself as soon as she is physically able. For example: she’s now washing herself during bath time with no assistance- only supervision.) and she’s Miss Independent, she’s always stuck close to us. Especially when we are out and about.
But now she feels comfortable going way further away from us than she is allowed to go. Her comfort zone, for the first time, is bigger than her prescribed boundaries. So we’re having to keep an extra close eye on her o she doesn’t’ get run over the street or lost in the supermarket. It is a little trying sometimes (she had her first public meltdown as a result of this recently). This is probably just part of Eliza not only becoming a big sister, but also a BIG KID. This means she’s a BIG HELP but needs to understand that she can’t go BIG DISTANCES just yet.
We’re so thankful that our transition into a larger family has been a smooth one! Thank you, Eliza, for being such a great Big Sister!
We’d love for you to share any comments on how you came up with creative solutions for sibling issues! Tell us about your kids or share sibling memories from your own childhood!